Everlast Eat at Whitey's

Everlast has reinvented himself about as many times as Madonna. First he was the GQ-suave token white rapper in Ice T's Rhyme Syndicate, then he became the hardcore, shit-kicking Irish nationalist with House of Pain; a Muslim next and finally the introspective songsmith Whitey Ford. Whitey Ford Sings the Blues was a great pop concept that may have alienated some of his frat boy fans, but it was still a college favourite. It was a good concept for one album, but with his newest release, Eat at Whitey's, Everlast is losing ground on Madonna, not to mention the kings of reinvention like David Bowie and Kool Keith. Apparently, Everlast is saving his hip-hop oriented tracks for the House of Pain reunion album, so the only songs he really raps on are "Deadly Assassins," with B-Real, and the rather short intro, "Whitey." His sort of rapped reinterpretation of Slick Rick's "Children's Story" is good, but mostly due to the many layered background beats, supplied by the voice of the Roots' human beat box Rahzel, the Godfather of Noise. The rest of the tracks tread the same water already explored on Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and his later EP, even including another song with Carlos Santana. Although the lyrics are often simplistic for his acoustic "blues" tracks, there are a few good songs: first single "Black Jesus," "Black Coffee" and "We're All Gonna Die," featuring Cee-Lo. Eat at Whitey's if you enjoy the same familiar fare, but if you want to sample some spicy food with flavour, you will want to check out the pub grub of the House of Pain, reopening next year. (BMG)