After an eight-year hiatus, the members of Dru Hill finally released their fourth album inDRUpendence Day, on July 27, 2010. During their eight years between albums there was a lot of drama between the members, including a break-up, a reunion, another break-up, the (seemingly) permanent departure of one founding member, a reality show, and two new members, one of whom either quit or was thrown out of the group. But despite all the behind-the-scenes drama, the group's four members manage to come together on inDRUpendence Day to record a full album of well-sung - yet remarkably bland - songs.
Solid, But Uninspired
Back during Dur Hill's heyday of the 1990s, one thing was crystal clear about the four-man group: it's shining star was main vocalist Sisqo and his vocal ability was far ahead of that of the other members. The group and its members have gone through some ups and downs since the '90s, and have finally released their fourth album inDRUpendence Day
, eight years after their third album, Dru World Order
, and 14 years after their 1996 self-titled debut. But the more things change, the more they remain the same, and the flamboyant Sisqo is still the main attraction.
The album's highlights are the songs on which Sisqo handles the lead vocals; his semi-gruff voice still has the ability to add energy to a track like none of the other group members can. But even when he's the primary voice on a song, there's still something missing: heart. The group, in trying to make a successful comeback, has decided to take the safest route possible and gone with clichéd, over-produced, chorus-heavy songs like the party anthem "Shut It Down," and the sexual songs "Do It Again," "She Wants Me" and "Whatcha Do." To Sisqo's credit, he can make almost any song shine, but the album definitely suffers when the other members, Jazz, Nokio and Tao have their turns in the spotlight.
There's no real creative highlight here, since most of the songs sound solid, but uninspired. Sisqo's solo career may have floundered after his big novelty hit "Thong Song," but after this mediocre album, he may want to rethink the whole group thing again and perhaps make another run at solo stardom.