Praying for the death of autotune, R&B is a lost art form these days. Gone are the days where singers could actually sing and soulful blues production was the mainstay. Instead, you have keyboard synthesizer beats and artists that can barely stay in key, even with autotune. Stuck between these two worlds is Jason Derulo. Though Derulo is a new artist to most, he has actually been around writing for Birdman, Lil Wayne and Diddy for quite some time.
The album begins with the JR Rotem produced “Whatcha Say”. The Imogen Heap sampled song was a #1 hit on billboard and the Derulo was off and running. Though “Whatcha Say” is autotuned to the fullest, this critic could still deal. “In My Head” is probably the strongest song on album. Nice drums from JR Rotem and Derulo actually shows some range. “Love Hangover” is an uptempo synthed-out radio smash, as is “Strobelight”. Unfortunately these are the somewhat bright spots of this dismal attempt at R&B music.
“Ridin Solo” samples The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” which in itself is blasphemous, and Derulo further proves his lack of talent in the song writing and singing realm. Continuing on this trainwreck of terrible replayed samples is “Sky’s the Limit” which is an interpolation of “Flashdance…What a Feeling” by Irene Cara…seriously??? Not only does the airhorned “J-J-J-J-R” sample become ultra annoying, the album never seems to pick up any steam. The problem is that each song just kind of meshes together with no real change in content or production. Which is pretty much the state of R&B for the last 10 years, with no change in sight, why bother to even listen anymore.
This album – along with many R&B albums of the last decade – both suffer from the same disease: lack of content, lack of soul, and lack of longevity. The genre needs to go back to making timeless classics instead of one hit radio garbage – unfortunately, given the state of the music business, that may never happen.
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