Mike Ladd Nostalgialator

Those familiar with Mike Ladd know that he has no musical boundaries. He’s best known as a spoken word artist but he dabbles in every genre. On Nostalgialator, his 2004 album re-released by Def Jux this year, his influences range from Tom Waits to Prince to Run DMC. The problem is, aside from spoken word, he doesn’t excel at any genre. His funk and punk are fun and fierce — no doubt — but nothing outstanding. There are some standouts, however: "Housewives at Play,” "How Electricity Really Works” and "Sail Away Ladies.” The latter is a contagious electro-western that sounds like it’s by another artist entirely, albeit an artist that should have total control over this album. (Definitive Jux)