Home Read Classic Album Review: Lauryn Hill | MTV Unplugged 2.0

Classic Album Review: Lauryn Hill | MTV Unplugged 2.0

The Fugees singer's live LP is either bravely revealing or ridiculously self-indulgent.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


We are led to believe big stars are better than we are — smarter, happier, more together. Former Fugee Lauryn Hill dispels that notion on MTV Unplugged 2.0, her curious, long-awaited return after a four-year absence.

A two-CD acoustic set of new cuts and works-in-progress, Unplugged 2.0 is either bravely revealing or ridiculously self-indulgent, depending on your view. I can see both sides. I have nothing but love for gently powerful tunes like Freedom Time, Mystery of Iniquity and I Gotta Find Peace of Mind, even if they are thinly disguised gripes on the hardships of fame and the evils of the biz. What’s not so lovable, though, is her unapologetically lax delivery — Hill forgets lyrics, flubs chords and hits some seriously bum notes in a voice that seems raspy from disuse. Even worse, nearly half her 100-minute set consists of unfocused, endless monologues on life and God and her mental state, which she cracks is “messed up.” No kidding. Bottom line: When she’s singing, Hill keeps it real. But when she’s talking, she keeps it real annoying.