The New York City rapper Pharoahe Monch waited almost seven years to follow up his acclaimed debut, “Internal Affairs.” The result, “Desire,” while not revolutionary, is still a varied, creative and very solid sophomore offering.

“Desire” expands into soul and funk grooves from the beginning – “Intro” wouldn’t be out of place in a church.

“Push” brings a swinging horn and percussion line with some great background vocals.

Showtyme, Mela Machinko and Tower of Power contribute rhymes to the track, featuring some of the album’s most creative similes and tongue twisters.

The next track, “Welcome To The Terrordome,” is the album’s standout.

With a sampled James Brown punching in the background, a slide guitar worthy of Robert Randolph, and witty – if cliched – anti-Bush lyrics, the track powers along like Public Enemy at their best.

Later, the album slips, but not terribly.

“Bar Tap”‘s lyrics don’t go much beyond standard night-at-the-club

But Monch and Machinko’s delivery – with neat lyrical gems like “All up in my space/Next day I’m in her MySpace top eight” – is creative enough to salvage it.

“Trilogy” is epic poetry of a man at the edge, but the intermissions between its “Acts” become tedious -then it gets hard to figure out where the story ends.

But these are minor quibbles. “Desire” is a promising effort – even if we have to wait seven years to hear where it leads.

Grade: B+ Album: Pharoahe Monch – “Desire”