This country doesnt produce that many rnb artists where their music can transcend over to America, but I have to say out of all the artists Taio Cruz is best placed. He may not have the publicity lots of people get from coming on Xfactor, but he is far far too talented for a show like that. Even before he was famous he was producting songs for the likes of Will Young and Sugababes. Finally in 2008 he released Departure, the album that I am reviewing, and would it be able to live up to his promise?
The most famous track here was I Just Wanna Know, however looking at the chart positions I can see it only reached 29 in the Uk which is not great. However this was released in 2006 a good two years before this album came out, which is why this was a long awaited album for his many fans. It is clear that his two tracks from his next album which was only released yesterday that he is now much more popular with the two tracks so far reached no3 and no1 in the charts. However I will have to leave reviewing that 2nd album till another time.
There is a real mix of different beats in Departure. This shows he is a very versatile singer, who can adapt to different beats and tunes. It is good to see that unlike most other artists, he does not let a lot of other artists feature on his tracks and you are paying to hear Taio Cruz so this is what you get. In a way he reminds me of Lemar, as Lemar clearly has talent, but he has never really made it in this country. Taio Cruz with his latest no1 single hopefully will be able to go that one step further and stay at the top, as well as break into America, as he is definitely talented enough.
Other tracks here that I love are moving on, I can Be and Fly Away, but to be honest they are all very good tracks in their own way. This isnt a 5 star album, for the simple reason that they aren't amazing tracks, but this is close to a perfect album, and not bad at all for his first attempt. I am currently listening to his second album on Spotify and have to say that it is also a quality album, and maybe even better than this one, but only time will tell.
Having heard a number of Taio's songs on Kiss100fm over the last 18 months or so I decided to see him live in Nottingham. The performance was decent enough, if not slightly drowned by all the screaming girls, that I decided to purchase his album. And to be honest, the London-based R'n'B artist has produced a cracking debut album, with each song oozing quality and best of all no one song is poor at all. Taio mixes it up with both fast and slow-paced tunes, that are certainly catchy and synthesized beautifully. There is no doubt that Taio has great talent and this comes across through his range of vocals and styles. Notably, 'She's Like A Star,' 'Come On Girl' and 'Moving On' - all chart successes are featured. In addition, songs not yet released are equally enjoyable and easy to listen to - many of which grow on you the more you listen to them, almost to the point where you begin to prefer them to the singles he has released. These include 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again' and 'Driving Me Crazy' - both diamonds in the rough worthy of being released as singles. Overall, more than suitable for those who enjoy R'n'B - a great mix of high quality songs that will inevitably lead to Taio claiming status as the 'Bristish Ne-Yo.' Best of all there is definitely more to come from Taio, exhibited by his recent release with Tinchy Stryder - 'Take Me Back'
Taio Cruz is a singer and songwriter from London, England and Departure is his debut album, which was released in March. He has had some success with singles, most notably 'Moving On', 'Come on Girl' and 'She's Like a Star'.
The album comes in at 12 songs long, all really high quality with no duds included. The strength of the album can only help him to increase his fan base because the quality and consistency of this record is beyond an artist releasing their first major album.
He could be described as a UK version of Ne-Yo, since he is a talented singer/songwriter who creates high quality music. However, while having an American influence it isn't just a copy of the artists from across the water. His own uniqueness comes through to ensure he will be around for many years to come.
While several of the songs from the album have been released and received heavy radio airplay there is enough other songs that you aren't likely to have heard to make buying the album a good idea. Any of the unreleased songs could be released as singles and would do very well. The variety of songs also makes the album very listenable with the variation from an almost dance track in 'Come on Girl' to pure RnB in 'Moving On'.
It's an album worth its place in any collection and is a must for any fans of UK music.
The track listing is:
1: I'll Never Love Again
2: I Just Wanna Know
3: I Can Be
4: I Don't Wanna Fall in Love
5: So Cold
6: Fly Away
7: Driving Me Crazy
8: Moving On
9: Come on Girl ft Luciana
10: Never Gonna Get Us
11: She's Like a Star
12: Can't Say Go
You have to love this guy, he has emerged as one of the freshest and most exciting r and b talents on the UK music scene. This album showcases Taio's ability to juggle downtempo ballads with edgy grooves.
Who is he: Taio Cruz is a UK singer/songwriter, very well spoken and often well dressed.
On this album: One of the highlights is the stirring 'Moving On', which has Timbaland esque beats working with his soulful vocals, as Taio pours his heart out about how he can't wait for his partner to leave so that he can get on with his life. 'I Just Wanna Know' is very similar and has a similar melody, finding Taio questioning whether he is being cheated on. He slows things down on the beautiful 'She's Like A Star' and takes things up a pace with 'Come On Girl' which is the closest this album gets to being dancey. A pulsating bassline drives this track and a hook-laden chorus coupled with a stylish rap from Luciana (Bodyrox fame.)
Vey well produced, the beats cut through with a crispness and his vocals are on a par with Ne Yo and Chris Brown. Sounds current, sounds fresh and sounds relevent. Taio should go from strength to strength over 2009.
Verdict: Own it!
Released in March 2008, this album which was written, produced and arranged by the artist, Taio Cruz, himself is one of the few albums in the charts where the artist is the key talent driving the album to success.
The debut album by this artist entered the charts at number 17 and has sent him soaring to success with popular hits such as 'Come On Girl' and 'I Can Be'.
1. I'll Never Love Again (3.51)
2. I Just Wana Know (4.00)
3. I Can Be (3.54)
4. I Don't Wana Fall In Love (3.24)
5. So Cold (3.29)
6. Fly Away (4.05)
7. Drive Me Crazy (3.16)
8. Moving on (3.53)
9. Come On Girl (3.36)
10. Never Gonna Get Us (3.54)
11. She's Like A Star (3.39)
12. Can't Say Go (3.23)
The songs are a balanced mix of slow love songs and good beats. 'I Just Wana Know', involves strings and piano for a melodic tune fortified with a sense of yearning in a talented voice. Whereas 'Come On Girl' is more fast-paced, upbeat and has a pumping baseline. 'Drive Me Crazy' is similar to 'Come on Girl' and in this sense, the album can become a bit repatative with a few gap fillers disguised as songs.
However, Taio Cruz has been compared to Seal and this comparison itself proves the talent behind the album Departure. With a mixture of rap and soulful singing, Cruz manages to display the capability of his voice. However, in many of his songs the chorus consists of one line repeated numerous times, which makes me question his talent as a lyricist.
His newest release, 'Like a Star', feature Roxanne Mckee (A.K.A 'Louise from Hollyoaks') in the video and is perhaps my favourite song.
Worth a listen.
Introduction: This is the brand new album from the great Nigerian born British singer that is Taio Cruz. One of my most favourite artists in Britain brings us his fanatical album "Departure" with all of your favourite songs that reached the charts in the past several years.
What Songs Are Featured On This Album? Well , there are many songs featured on the alubm that gets you in the mood for the day to come. Every song on the album makes the buy more worth it. Songs on the album are Moving On , So Cold , I Just Wanna Know , Fly Away , Can't say go , I Don't Wanna Fall In ove , Driving Me Crazy , Never Gonna Get Us , I'll Never Love Again , and this brilliant album also features the chart breaking "I Can Be" and the fantastic "Come On Girl". These songs each of their own uniqueness which makes them all the more better to listen to the album over and over again to get you in the mood for what is coming ahead.
Why Did I Buy This Album? I purchased this album because i love Taio Cruz's fantastic tunes. In my opinion , the album is a great buy for anyone who wants to listen to some great moving music.
Thankyou For Reading ....
(c) J24 2008
ADETAYOR AYOWALE CRUZ ONILE-ERE
Going unknown to many, Taio Cruz is emerging as one of the UK's biggest exports, as despite his lack of exposure meaning he can hardly even get mobbed at small-time concerts in public parks, as a producer and songwriter there are few to challenge him. Born to a Nigerian father and a Brazilian mother, Taio has no lack of cultural background to turn to for inspiration, even though he was nurtured in the concrete playground of London, England. Taio is closing in on his twenty-sixth birthday in late April, and after sticking to releasing about a single a year, he must have finally decided that as the founder and CEO of Rokstarr Music, his debut album would finally get a release. One things for sure, you should not take this artist on face value as there is much more to him than medicore vocals.
'Departure' was released in mid-March, and with a lack of promotion has only peaked at #17 in the UK album charts.
"A STYLISH, INVENTIVE DEBUT" - THE GUARDIAN
01, I'll Never Love Again (3.51), 3*
02, I Just Wanna Know (4.00), 3*
03, I Can Be (3.54), 4*
04, I Don't Wanna Fall in Love (3.24), 3*
05, So Cold (3.29), 4*
06, Fly Away (4.05), 3*
07, Driving Me Crazy (3.16), 5*
08, Moving On (3.53), 5*
09, Come on Girl ft Luciana (3.36), 4*
10, Never Gonna Get Us (3.54), 2*
11, She's Like a Star (3.39), 5*
12, Can't Say Go (3.23), 5*
Many would deem Taio Cruz to be an American-inspired artist, especially considering that he has worked as a producer across the pond, and whilst there are a lot of tracks named on the album similar to well-known tracks released by 'bigger' name artists, what Taio does well is add his own unique take to each track. Take for example his debut single, 'I Just Wanna Know', which is the opposite to a Mario Winans track ('I Don't Wanna Know'). This was the first track released from Taio, and whilst it was well receive it did not really get him known as a bigname to look out for in the music industry. When released in 2006 it peaked on the UK charts at #29, however with a slightly 'underground' fanbase the track did manage to stay charted for a total of six weeks. Two years on the track does feel like a dated version of the song by Mario, his american-counterpart, however it is a track that no artist would disagree with having on their discography.
2007 would see Taio's second single release, 'Moving On', that had a more individual message that his previous down-tempo release and mixed a more exciting beat with an emotional message. With the artists songwriting ability beginning to emerge, this song was reminiscent of what a British version of Ne-Yo ('So sick of love songs') might do. The track charted at #26 in the charts, and was all about having the ability to move on from a relationship, probably making it one of the easiest tracks on the album to relate to. Anything that could earn the artist a tag similar to that of Ne-Yo's must be worthy of five stars as well, and whilst I hope I haven't been overly generous with my stars in this review, the amount of different objectives Taio pulls off on one album makes this seem as though it should be at least his third album rather than his debut.
"I JUST WANNA TURN YOU, ME, INTO AN US" - TAIO CRUZ
2008 an up-tempo song would be launched to get some radio play and accompany the release of the album, this was 'Come on Girl', the only track on the album to feature another British artist, or any sort of artist for that matter. This has became Taio's biggest release to date, peaking at #5, however this is not indicative of it being his best single. I have quickly grown tired of the track and its American car-chase video, however Luciana's dirty vocals do add an extra take to the song that will keep you listening at least up until her verse. After three listens you will probably think this is the perfect track, but after thirty you will be more tiresome of the whole robotic undercurrent.
'Driving Me Crazy' is one of those tracks that I was talking about being named after similar tracks from American artists (think Britney Spears) and this track is the closest Taio comes to sounding like he could be Justin Timberlake, and if there was to be a track to launch him into the mainstream American market I would imagine it should be this. 'She's like a Star' (similar to a Corrine Bailey Rae release) has an introduction that could be straight out of that other artists release, however Taio makes the track his own, and in the sunny weather I was more than happy to have this pumpin' out this afternoon. 'Can't Say Go' is a track I loved before I'd heard because I thought the title was incredibly clever, and I think it is amazing that at the end of the album Taio is still churning out grade A tracks. It makes me wonder how Taio is ever going to be able to select his next single release.
An album that never drops below three stars, no wonder Taio Cruz is becoming so critically acclaimed, and this is probably going to end up being one of the most underestimated albums of the year. Maybe one day someone will stumble across 'Never Gonna Get Us' thinking it's the Russian girls T.A.T.U., or think 'So Cold' is as icey as an Omarion track and wonder how they ever did without "C'mon girl, c'mon" Taio Cruz.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I'll Never Love Again
2 I Just Wanna Know
3 I Can Be
4 I Don't Wanna Fall in Love
5 So Cold
6 Fly Away
7 Driving Me Crazy
8 Moving On
9 Come On Girl - Taio Cruz, Luciana Caporaso
10 Never Gonna Get Us
11 She's Like A Star
12 Can't Say Go