Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Album Review: B.O.B. - The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Truth be told this is gonna be a tough review for me for a couple reasons. For one, it's going to be hard to NOT put an instant classic label on B.O.B.'s studio debut, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, similar to how I did for Kid Cudi's Moon Man Album.

I look at it like this, Bobby Ray has a knack...or talent to spare when it comes to his style...consider it music genre versatility. He can appeal to the hardcore Southern Rap fans with tracks like Bet I Bust, he can reel in a Contemporary non-Hip Hop demographic simply by including addictive hooks on tracks Airplanes by Hayley Williams of Paramore and Bruno Mars on his first single Nothin' on You, yet still knock down traditional Hip Hop barriers with acoustic soul tracks like Lovlier Than You and artistic ballads like Don't Let Me Fall, Satellite and Ghost in the Machine.

Me I'm a sucker for those lyrically depressing, inspirational tracks that fly off the reservation emotionally (hence the 5 headphone rating on Cudi's album). If I were to rank my top 10 favorites on this album it would go like this.

1. Don't Let Me Fall
*1a. Not Lost feat T.I. (sample not cleared so wasn't on official album, still dope though)
2. Airplanes
3. Ghost in the Machine
4. Satellite
5. Lovlier Than You
6. Nothin' on You
7. Airplanes Remix feat Eminem
8. Bet I
9. Fame
10.The Kids

The sheer fact I have ten favorites on one disk is pecans and nothing short of amazing nowadays with albums having more filler tracks (generally speaking) than quality material. With that being said, I wouldn't even call it audacity when I predict that I will end up liking Bobby Ray's album more than Drake's upcoming Thank Me Later album. Especially after being lukewarm on his new single with Kanye, it's going to take a lot of momentum to make up for the bumper to bumper, start to finish quality on Bobby Ray's debut.

Given my previous dialog discussing how there was a serious dog fight (in my eyes) between Cudi and B.O.B. for who has the better first album and who could claim the role of Robin to Drake's Batman, it's hard not to call that a push after this album.Bobby Ray is going to outsell Cudi by hundreds of thousands of records, without a question. There are so many potential singles still left on the Adventures of Bobby Ray like Don't Let Me Fall or Lovlier Than You, it's going to be a LONG time before we see his album fall off Billboard. The mass commercial appeal is the only potential drawback in my mind because as much as I love this album, I'm going to end up feeling like a granule of sand in the long run because everybody and they moms is gonna be listening to this front to back. I don't want that to sound negative though because Bobby Ray is so talented he can attract that wide of a demographic and his pockets are gonna be fatter than lard sammich as a result. I'm not implying he sold out AT ALL either by being commercially likable, he did so much genre blending throughout his album, it's a given more people will be able to relate. In comparison, I feel like Cudi's album struck a cord with me mood wise and provided me with about 3 or 4 absolutely timeless tracks, making it hard to match up 3 or 4 tracks on this album that had the same impact those tracks did. Don't get it twisted though, B.O.B.'s album is solid front to back with good tracks, there is no half steppin' and it definitely wins when you compare quantity.

As a result, The Adventures of Bobby Ray gets a 4.5 headphone rating in my eyes, coming up an eyelash short of classic with the potential of reaching classic status as time goes on. This album has set the bar so high, it's going to be hard for Eminem's Recovery, Cudi's Moon Man II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, Drake's Thank Me Later or even Kanye's Good Ass Job, which may be released this year, to compete. I liken this debut album to the start of Atlanta native Jason Heyward's first year so far...we knew it had potential and was going to be good...but for a first year/album there are no expectations that could contain how big of a splash this will end up making...


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