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Pretty Ricky

Late Night Special (Atlantic)

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Valentine's Day is almost here, which means it's time for the sophomore album from Pretty Ricky. The leadoff single, "On the Hotline," finds the Miami foursome in full grind, fantasizing about flying a MySpace conquest back to the bachelor pad, where she's ordered to "Take them granny panties off/And put a thong on." Ah, romance.

But considering that the most prominent females mentioned in hip-hop these days are exotic dancers and porn stars, it's hard to grant the four brothers of Pretty Ricky the "outrageous" tag they're jocking for. As was the case with Bluestars, the group's 2005 raunched-up debut, they're as nasty as they wanna be -- it's just that the decline of Western civilization has rendered such sticky slow jams as "Love Like Honey" kinda tame. Heck, there's only one girl involved! Meanwhile, "Peer Pressure" -- with its titular double entendre (get it?) -- feels endearingly quaint. If the quartet's tuneful hybrid of hip-hop and soul were a bit more distinctive, Late Night Special might have been a valentine worth sharing . . . with your favorite stripper, at least.

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