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by Pizzo
16 January, 2009@4:40 am
0 comments

Based on his career as a two time Oscar winner (and subsequently, star of Booty Call), it’s sometimes hard to accept when someone like Jamie Foxx comes along and decides they want to make a contemporary / pop R&B album. Does he get a pass just because he’s famous? Well, truth be told, Mr. Foxx is a very talented actor, comedian, and yes, singer (his Ray Charles impression is spot on, in both mannerism and vocalism), so here is one of those rare cases where it’s acceptable for someone like Foxx to venture into the music biz. After all, he’s the rare example of an artist that is actually talented and also has a record deal. Imagine that.

He’s no stranger to the game, Intuition is Foxx’s third LP, and after the double-platinum success of 2005’s Unpredictable, he has no problem tapping top tier talent to collaborate with on this album. Surprisingly, it begins with a string of several club-friendly potential radio hits, each backed by a fellow multi-platinum artist. The opening track, “Just Like Me” finds Jamie teaming with T.I. for a rhythmic radio jam, as the two lament about challenging females whom share their carefree, flirtatious swagger. This theme continues on into “She Got Her Own” – actually a remix to “Miss Independent” – with both Fabolous and Ne-Yo in tow. This takes the original song’s concept to an even smoother level, with chipmunk soul and emotionally delivered verses. Timbaland chimes in for the strange “I Don’t Need It”, which is sort of a mash of classic soul and today’s modern sound. Here, Tim’s “Sexy Back”-esque drum programming propels Jamie’s comical Al Green-like cadence.

In the way of club hits, there’s quite a few that will fit into any commercial hip-hop DJ’s set. The Just Blaze produced “Number One” borrows a sample from The Beastie Boys, plus verses from Lil’ Wayne, as Foxx delivers his take on the “A Milli” formula. Kanye and The Dream collaborate on the ultra smooth “Digital Girl”, as Foxx and crew cry “ayo technology” over thumping bass and dreamy pianos, with requisite humorous verses from Mr. West. But the song that hits this record out of the park – and will probably keep it on the charts for a while – is “Blame It”. Here, this take-no-responsibility-for-my-actions-I-was-drunk-song celebrates the after-effects of each Patron, Grey Goose, Hennessey, and other flavors of drink, just begs for club play. With non-album remixes featuring Yung Joc, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, and Kardinal Offishall already floating around, expect this to be the coldest winter anthem.

After selling you with the album’s first half, the second half of the album takes a drastic turn, for better or for worse, depending on your tastes. After kicking the door down with a series of well made crossover cuts during act one, act two focuses on “the grown and sexy” (lord, we hate that term). Here, we find the last six or seven tracks focusing in between the sheets, not on the dancefloor. With a series of ballads produced by Tricky Stewart, Salaam Remi and others, it’s hard to see what he was going for crafting the album in this fashion. Clearly after opening the audience up during the album’s first half with hood approved club cuts, taking the second half of the album in this steamy, seductive direction is a strange move, because it totally loses the opening crowd.  While the latter part of Intuition shows off his true talent –  ballads - it completely disrupts the flow built in the former. In other words, it’s hard to go from R. Kelly to John Legend in the flip of a light switch.

All in all, audiences will be split down the middle with Intuition, except perhaps for the super-fans out there that worship Jamie Foxx, even if he didn’t go full retard in The Soloist. – Pizzo

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