January 27, 2003 12:00 PM

Crazy Town (Columbia)

Crazy Town soared to the top of the charts with 2001’s airy “Butterfly,” a catchy hip-pop single off the group’s otherwise tepid 1999 debut, The Gift of Game. On this follow-up the L.A. sextet desperately, self-consciously attempts to avoid becoming one-hit wonders. Their blatantly trend-conscious blend of hip-hop and metal—Bret “Epic” Mazur’s lazy vocals alternate with Seth (formerly “Shifty Shellshock”) Binzer’s affected raps—is as tired as the self-pity they repeatedly display on tracks like “Change” and “Candy Coated.” On the latter Binzer raps, “I do dirt to bury shame/ I’m victimized, an institution’s no solution,” while Mazur drones on the chorus, “Candy coated pain is like a ball and chain.” “Drowning,” meanwhile, is a shallow rumination on the very celebrity that scored them a bizarre, and ultimately ineffective, guitar cameo by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo on the painful “Hurt You So Bad.”

BOTTOM LINE: Don’t bet on this Darkhorse

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