About that third Fugees album

Teresa Wiltz digs into the mystery of Lauryn Hill:

Like many a blues woman before her, Lauryn lets her pain saturate her art. Even the music aches. In "Ex-Factor," she sounds tormented, pleading and entreating, her voice hoarse and straining at the pipes, repeating over and over again, "cry for me /cry for me/you said you'd die for me." Her fragility is palpable. You get the feeling that whatever went down in the Fugees' studio, it did damage.

Which is a shame, because Lauryn is about 65 percent of The Score, a truly incredible left-hook of alterna-rap in a year when everyone wanted to be a player choking a bottle of Mo. Bleh. That said, at some point, folks have to show and prove, and no one gets an award for "might have been." I've long thought Miseducation was way overrated--it's a nice album, Lauryn's a good singer, but was (at the time) a much better MC. At this point, I'm kinda tired of hearing about her. For a moment, she had the touch, and now something's gone terribly wrong. A tragedy, no doubt. But not one that requires regular notations on a career that hasn't produced anything of note in a decade.