T-Pain "rEVOLVEr" Album Review – 5 out of 5
Mon, 05 Dec 2011 07:44:39
One of the best aspects of T-Pain's oeuvre, obvious auto-tuning aside, is his propensity to layer those contorted vocals over catchy percussion and bass so good that the melodies often come in second. Sometimes the catch is subtle, with a systematic pulse for the bass line. Other times, the stir is menacing and paced to make you shake that thing.
His fourth album, rEVOLVEr, is no exception, and it's no surprise that he pulls the likes of Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Lily Allen, Wiz Khalifa, and Ne-Yo, among others, for his feat. The album opens with dramatic strings and an organ loop in a looming key before he goes into it, singing: "My money-money, My bread good… I do my thing-thing, Look at me now-now". The song, called "Bang Bang Pow Pow" later features Lil Wayne, which is to say that the entire song, indeed, is unabashed braggadocio and pistol sound-effects. Fun in a hardcore way, I can't help but feel that it's also a defense for his game-changing robo-aesthetic.
The following song, "Bottlez" featuring Detail, is another one produced to specifically and instantly obliterate willful disdain. If you want to hate, it's hard to hate this one, with a synthetic growl over a bass that has a life of its own—it pulses, then rushes, and halts before picking up again. The succeeding song is his collaboration with Pitbull, "It's Not You (It's Me)" plays out its percussive claps and soaring synths into a guaranteed hit. Another song in the album that deserves heaps of praise is "5'oclock", featuring Lily Allen and Wiz Khalifa. With Allen's reserved way of singing and T-Pain's one reference to Drake, everything about the song is sophisticated—including its music video. I love the music video. It doesn't involve much beyond T-Pain walking the streets of London right before dawn, but like the song itself, it relies on very little to convey a lot.
And that's the thing about T-Pain, which I'll always give him credit for: he's exuberant, but never excessive. And in the hip-hop world, that takes some real skill.
Have you heard rEVOLVEryet?