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Not The Most Plain B.o.B. Around
B.o.b Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray - B.o.B
Member Name: XICripZ
B.o.b Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray - B.o.B
Advantages: Original genre-juggling ideas
Disadvantages: Some tunes take a while to get into
The Decatur, Georgia singer and rapper B.o.B. put out his debut album in 2010 after numerous delays. "B.o.B. Presents - The Adventures of Bobby Ray" (originally entitled "... of B.o.B."). The record finds him finally able to show the world just how original he is as a musician likely to be simply referred to as a rapper when in fact he plays a multitude of instruments and with it comes out with tracks fully embracing Rock, Bluegrass, Doo-Wop, Funk and various other things.
1. "Don't Let Me Fall"
The album gets off to a nice start as he takes us into his world and gives us the first chance to experience the music he's about. With this opener we have him initially singing, before later going on to rap, as he's backed by a mix of Rap and Alternative Hip Hop and a Pop hook to make to a recording that's able to appeal to a wide-ranging array of people who get down with music styles that don't really come together all that well unless someone such as B.o.B. does it.
2. "Nothin' On You"
I saw this to be B.o.B.'s real breakthrough track as although he may have been able to see quite a bit of exposure with tunes such as "Haterz Everywhere" and "I'll Be In The Sky", this was the tune that got his name out there and has him approaching things in a pure Alternative Hip Hop direction that gives listeners and understanding that he's not your typical rapper and can come up with catchy Pop-edge tunes such as this one to win people over.
3. "Past My Shades"
On this tune B.o.B. (real name Bobby ray) gets a feature from Chicago's Lupe Fiasco - who's also known for not quite fitting in with the others in the Hip Hop game. This is an interesting tune and has the rapper coming to flow about how he chooses to wear shades in order to ensure that people can't be into his soul via his eyes. Its lyrics are deep and the pair of them work together well to make for a memorable recording.
To fans of Paramore, it's likely that they'll be excited by the fact that Hayley Williams of the band comes to sing on the chorus to this tune. I thought that here light vocals suited the direction of this tune quite well as we get a rather dark and ominous track from Bobby Ray for this one and it takes you in from the start to ensure that you hear all that it brings.
5. "Bet I"
I saw this as a killer track and a tune which takes thing in a very different direction as for this one he decides to appeal directly to the pure grungy Dirty South Hip Hop sound and the sort of thing heard from this time. It sounds as if it takes on the kind of style heard on Big Boi (of OutKast)'s recent solo work and the features by both T.I. and Playboy Tre are likely to be received well by listeners on this tune.
6. "Ghost In The Machine"
On this track you get a recording solely produced by B.o.B. himself. I thought that it was nice to see what he's able to do by himself 9without the aid of outside producers) and it seems that alone, he's just as capable of coming out with the hits. This is a cold recording and one that has him singing about times when he feels as though he's just a ghost and could very easily lose himself when others simply don't care. It wasn't really my thing, but others could take a little something from it.
7. "The Kids"
B.o.B's genre-juggling persists through this one as he manages to show how he tires of things sounding similar in any way whatsoever. This is a nice one and a tune that gets him trying out more straight-forward rapping on the verses so that his ideas can be heard easily through a simplistic structure, however you get a Soft Rock backing to set it apart from other thing and I felt that it did its job at showing more of what he can do.
Weezer's frontman, River Cuomo, comes to provide the vocals for the hook on this one and I thought that it was nice to see more experimentation from him by bringing in such a musician to work alongside him. From there, B.o.B. excites with the fresh rhyming that he flows out and it makes for a nice and bright tune to show that not all Rap is dark and directed towards violence.
I was impressed by what's given on this one. For this track we're offered a track that I felt sounded as though it was just one of a couple on the album which could have been put out and would have sounded like any other Hip Hop track of this time. I thought that such a tunes had to brought in here and it seems to take the edge off the very risky experiments elsewhere and shows that he's just as capable as straight-forward ones.
10. "Lovelier Than You"
This is a nice and bright recording from him where you have him deciding to do all the production himself. I felt that the tune really came together well as in it we're given another Soft Rock track from him and one that really contrasts from the sort of thing we were exposure to just before this one. It's a love song which forces you to smile and ensures that you'll be satisfied by the uplifting nature of the way he sings it and later raps a verse.
11. "5th Dimension"
Lil' C gets up on the beats and comes to bring out a fly tune that gets you in a freaky mood. We're offered some spacey production from this tune and I thought that it was nice to see how it take your body over from the very start and gets you grooving along to the material in a manner that you won't have expected to have been before the rapper blasts out some bumping rhymes that take you over with their regularity in structure.
12. "Airplanes" (Part 2)
The album comes to a close with the second part to a track heard from earlier-on from the album. This time around, we're given a surprise feature by Eminem, a rapper who this 21-year-old rapper idolised as he grew up. I thought that it was nice to get a little something from little something from Em' as he shows support for the up-and-comer with this final track on the Grand Hustle signee's debut record.
I thought that this was a great album from B.o.B. (AKA Bobby Ray) and a Alternative album using a range of style which a broad range of listeners are able to get down with. I found the odd tune a little plain at first and so some do take a few listens to get into, however it's generally quite strong and shows good stuff overall from him.
Summary: B.o.B.'s debut album