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December 14, 2010

Mainstream Releases...The Good, Bad, and the Awesome.

Tank releases his 4th studio LP, Now or Never, on December 14th.  The R&B crooner (responsible for "Maybe I Deserve", "Slowly", "One Man" and the hit "Please Don't Go") shows tremendous artistic ability and of course, sex appeal, in the latest release.  As a Tank fan, I know I'll be purchasing a copy however, I don't see this as his break-out album.  Help from big names Chris Brown ("Foreplay") and Drake ("Celebration") are appealing but, not Top 20 records. 

Bottom line: Awesome disc. On point production. Beautiful lyrics. But, it still isn't what Tank needs compete with the artists he writes for.  However, I truly hope I'm wrong.

For the record, he didn't include A FEW tracks that leaked late last year and early this year.  One such leak entitled, "Lost In You", that he dropped in 2009 would have been an awesome addition.  Tell me if you agree by clicking HERE to listen.

Business Worthy Tracks:

"Sex Music"
"Celebration" feat. Drake 
"Keep It 100"
"I Can't Make You Love Me" 

Ciara's release of Basic Instinct as a follow-up to the 2009's Fantasy Ride comes on the heels of critic's and artists alike questioning her love for the music that made her a star.  I've listened to a few of the tracks from Basic Instinct and while the usual superstar producers (Tricky Stewart and The Dream) work their usual magic, the end results are exactly what you'd expect.  Nod inducing but, not repeat worthy. 

Ciara has yet to find the hit that propels her into studio sessions with the producers that create anthems for breakfast and with songs like "Girls Get Your Money," an ode to girls, and how they, you know, get money, doesn't do anything to bring her out of the cookie cutter mold she's been stuck in.

"Ride" and "Gimme Dat" are reminiscent of her first album yet, they pack a punch that, I wish, could have been reproduced throughout Basic Instinct.

I truly hope Ciara can hit the nail on the head one of these days.  Never say never.

Business Worthy Tracks:

"Gimme Dat"
"Yea I Know"

I'll have to admit that I did chuckle when Diddy announced this project as "...ushering a new movement" oh...almost two years ago.  February of 2009 to be exact. As of Saturday, I was no longer chuckling.  While it isn't the deepest reflection of musical talent (Diddy's attempts at singing are...interesting) I'd have to go on a limb and say this is Diddy's best production piece in years.  The underlying theme of a conflicted playboy and his relationship woes are brought to life with the addition of Kalenna and ex-Danity Kane member, Dawn Richard.

My only qualm lies in the fact that eleven of the sixteen track LP are with features from other artists.  It makes me wonder how a Dirty Money concert could even occur.  Nonetheless, Diddy capitalizes on the trend of highly danceable hip-hop fused with bass heavy beats.  The melodic voices of Kalenna and Dawn blend well and additional song birds Chris Brown, Usher, and Trey Songz add additional harmonies along with their male points of view.

Diddy made Last Train To Paris a digital story and despite the slew of features and a few questionable lyrical choices, I for one, am on board.

Business Worthy Tracks:

"Looking For Love" (Feat. Usher)
"Hate You Now"
"Your Love" feat. Trey Songz (this one is a bit explicit...you are forewarned)
"Hello, Good Morning" feat. T.I.
"I Know" feat. Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa
"Loving You No More" feat. Drake

Michael - Michael Jackson
Kandi Koated - Kandi
Love Letter - R. Kelly
White Blood Cells - The White Stripes

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