BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Like most groups that decide it's time to ditch the gangsta lean, fast-rap innovators Bone Thugs-n-Harmony started wrestling with their emotions a few years ago, churning out a few standard-issue repentance tracks with every new release. Maybe it's just declining sales, lawsuits, and inner turmoil finally catching up with them, but on the new Strength & Loyalty (Interscope) they reveal an emotional heft and moral certitude previously hinted at but never fully realized. Their street-hustle perspective is more melancholy and cynical than ever, guided by Scripture and a heavy knowledge of consequences. They even call a truce with longtime rival Twista, bringing him in for a cameo on "C-Town." But the most amazing thing about Strength & Loyalty is that, in spite of its gravity, it's also a flawless pop record, buoyed by the group's loquacious flow. .a 9 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $26.50-$28, 18+.

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