Bobby Ray Simmons struts his musical chops in his debut album named B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray. The album also features some collaborations from established musicians such as Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Lupe Fiasco, T.I, Eminem, and Hayley Williams. Though B.o.B works solo only in four tracks, he still eventually manages to make sure that all the tracks are laid out perfectly.
With the guest stars in the album, it is inevitable for B.o.B to change his styles in the tracks in order to accommodate the strengths of each guest. Changing the styles actually worked in Simmons’ favor for his debut album. There is variety in the album if sound is to be considered. All the tracks have a unique vibe included. This facet could be considered as the album’s greatest feature.
Since the tracks all have unique vibes in them, I would rather discuss all the outstanding tracks from the debut album of Simmons. Debut single Nothin’ On You, a collaboration with Bruno Mars, actually made me like B.o.B’s creative musicality big time. The track is really radio-friendly with rap and R&B elements fusing together like a well-done marriage. Don’t Let Me Fall lets B.o.B’s rapping take the center stage. The track did show that he really can embrace the lights and do things superbly.
Airplanes, a collaborative effort with Paramore’s lead vocalist Hayley Williams, takes advantage of Williams’ angst in her vocals and meshes the said vocals with the rapping of B.o.B. The track ends up as one of the album’s very outstanding tracks. B.o.B dramatically slows the pace down in Lovelier Than You. The track sounds charming as B.o.B tries to go the sentimental route.
B.o.B and Grammy Award-nominated Janelle Monae try their hands on some social commentary in The Kids which samples Vampire Weekend’s The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance. The track, alongside Airplanes, may be considered as the most likable tracks among all the collaborations included in the album. Magic, which features Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, sports a fast tempo and also shows off B.o.B’s ability to rap like a crazy mad man.
The album relies on B.o.B’s versatility as a musician and it all works out very great in the end. An adventure should never be one-dimensional and the albums show that convincingly. The tracks all possess a unique vibe and that is how an adventure should end up – something loaded with variety which can induce some fun eventually.
RELEASED: April 27, 2010 (US)
LABEL: Atlantic Records
DOWNLOAD THIS: ‘Nothin’ On You’, ‘Magic’, ‘The Kids’, ‘Airplanes’
This review was written by our resident contributor, Jio Canlas. His works and other reviews can be viewed on his personal blog, The Reflective Inklings.