Future, "Evol" (Epic/A1/Freebandz )

When Sonic Youth called its 1986 album "Evol," it stood for "Love" spelled backward. For rapper Future, "Evol" must be short for "evolution." How quickly that process moves in the right hands, if the past 12 months are representative of the Atlanta MC's potential: three mix tapes ("Beast Mode," "56 Nights" and the new "Purple Reign"); one duet disc with Drake, "What a Time to Be Alive," and two solo albums, "DS2" and now "Evol." After the slippery, sleepy, digital soul of "Low Life" (featuring fellow chart-topper the Weeknd) and the ooey-gooey "Fly S**t Only," the remainder of "Evol" hits hard, rhythmically. Future's voice, a crisply accented Southern snap with a molasses-and-whiskey flow, proudly punctuates each decadent text ("We been gone on the molly/holding on to Friday") and product placement (Hermes and Cartier on "Maybach"). "Ain't No Time" and its rousing paean to money ("the reason why we talk") inspires disfavor from an antagonistic narrator on tracks such as "Lie to Me" and the slurry "Xanny Family."

A.D. Amorosi, Philadelphia Inquirer