I love when an album is released that I can’t help but listen to over, and over, and over again. The last album that had that effect on me was the debut album from Two Doors Cinema Club, whose review I posted in February.
These type of records are filled with songs that flow into one another, breathing life into the next song and cherishing the music that just passed. They work as complete albums and as stand alone tracks; songs to be played in the dead of night or to begin a new sunny day. They get my heart pumping and my spirits soaring while I bob my head along to the beat.
The debut album from twenty-one year-old Bobby Ray Simmons – aka B.o.B. – is causing my head to bob so much its giving me a stiff neck. The beats are infectious, the rhymes are tight, and the singing is strong. I don’t think I’ll grow tired of this album until it grows tired of me.
His album is named B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray and it fits. Coming off of a few mix-tapes with some successful singles, B.o.B. is relatively unknown. Yet from what I’m hearing on his album he definitely knows himself.
The first track is also the album’s first single. Don’t Let Me Fall opens with a bright arpeggiated piano and Bobby Ray happily singing, “Well it was just a dream/Just a moment ago/I was up so high, looking down at the sky/Don’t let me fall.” As he ends the last note of ‘fall’ the drums enter with a booming bass, chipper snare, and assertive clap.
The song doesn’t mess around.
I don’t find this to be a typical first-track. First-tracks tend to ease the listener into the album and prepare them for what will follow. Or, they are the only solid track off the record with every following track paling in comparison.
In this case B.o.B.’s opening track is both an introduction to the album and a tease of what follows. The track stands on its own, remains solid, and doesn’t overshadow any other songs.
What fun to listen to.
Ghost In The Machine serves as a ballad of sorts. The melancholy usually required of such a song can diminish its qualities, however B.o.B., with the help of a soaring lead guitar, avoids this trap. The song can be sung through tears or triumph and although simple remains effective.
And perhaps one of the more fun songs on the track is The Kids, a partial cover of Vampire Weekend’s Kids Don’t Stand a Chance. The chorus is straight from Vampire Weekend however B.o.B. creates his own rap lyrics resulting in an original piece.
This album is fun. And good. Lots of fun and good. You’ll be pumping this for friends in the car and at parties for quite some time. I know I will.