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It's Pronounced Five-Two - Click to view!Fans screamed with excitement at the news that Jonah Sorrentino would release another album just over a year after his surprise sophomore hit Collaborations. At the same time reviewers like me got a funny feeling in the pit of their stomachs. KJ-52 is an intelligent, commercially accessible artist. Would just over a year give him enough time to produce an original project? Sadly, the answer is no.

It's Pronounced "Five-Two" gives Sorrentino a chance to introduce himself to the soccer moms whose kids flipped over "Dear Slim." So, in the vein of "if it ain't broke," KJ revisits some of the popular items from the Collaborations menu. Instead of "Nursery Rhymes" (the sleeper hit of the 2002 album), cartoons are the focus with the light-hearted "Cartoon Network." "Rock On" follows in the tradition of "Rise Up," a rap-rock collaboration with Pillar's Rob Beckley. "47 Pop Stars" replaces "47 Emcees," and "Back In The Day" is a regurgitation of high school days covered last time with Pigeon John. Gone is the myriad of producers, replaced solely by Todd Collins. While Collins does a great job of creating danceable tracks, KJ is at his best when a number of producers work to challenge him.

The original work KJ provides proves that he hasn't lost a step. "KJ Five Two" is the album's most enjoyable tune, as the emcee shares his personality, career development and heart for God. "Whoop Whoop" is another club-worthy hit that has KJ exercising his double-time flow. Other notables are the heart wrenching "#1 Fan" and the admittedly jiggy "So In Love With You." The most controversial track (yet the most appropriate) is "Dear Slim pt. 2." With all the debate surrounding the original, no one can fault KJ for returning to the topic. Once again, Sorrentino's humility and heart for Eminem shines through, and those who misunderstand this one aren't really looking hard enough.

The end result of a seemingly rushed project? This one probably needed to marinate a little longer. Creating an album that somewhat mirrors the last is a good way to sell records but harmful to the creativity genes. It's Pronounced "Five-Two" is roughly half-new material, and therefore, half-worth purchasing — it's up to you.
- Jon Corbin
June 2004
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