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CD Review: Machine Gun Kelly

Lace Up (Bad Boy/Interscope)

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This highly anticipated debut from Texas-born and Cleveland-based rap sensation Machine Gun Kelly starts off with a bang with "Save Me." MGK lays down raps like "216 forever in my soul" as his heavy hitting guests — singer M Shadows and guitarist Synyster Gates (both of Avenged Sevenfold fame) — help turn the song into a powerful rock ballad. Kelly displays his rapid-fire delivery on tracks such as "What I Do" and "See My Tears" but as much as the tunes show off the guy's microphone skills, neither song is as compelling as something by rival Eminem. While Kelly likes to pit himself against loud-mouthed rappers like Wacka Flocka Flame, DMX and Lil Jon, he comes off best when backed by someone who can actually sing. The Kickdrums' Fitts provides soulful backing vocals on "Stereo," and guest Anna Yvette does the same on "All We Have." All in all, not a bad effort.

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