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===I'D LET HIM LOVE ME===
Mario Dewar Barrett, or as most will just know him as Mario, is no relation to the plumber that has a range of 'super' games named after himself. The twenty-one year-old was raised by his grandmother, whilst his single mother dealt with a drug addiction. During his early teens Mario himself turned to drugs, but decided to go on the straight and narrow after being shot in the ass both figuratively and literally. This newly inspired Mario was then able to concentrate further on the ambition of being a singer that he had since the age of four, and in 2002 he released his self-titled debut album at the age of sixteen. Mario became a huge hit for the young superstar, peaking at #9 on the US Billboard, however the album would not be released to the UK market. Instead we would have to wait to meet Mario with his second studio album, 'Turning Point', titled for having a more mature direction. 'Turning Point' would peak at #13 in the US, and #7 in the UK, whilst the album was best known for featuring Mario's biggest hit to date, 'Let Me Love You', spending nine weeks at the top of the US Billboard. 'Let Me Love You' garnered ringtone download totals still to be beaten.
We would then have to wait for Mario's third studio album, 'Go!', as he divided his time up between his music career and an acting career - making appearances in 'Step Up' and 'Freedom Writers'. The album was originally set for release in 2006 under the title 'Effortless' and was for the first time going to be promoted using his full-name of Mario Barrett, however over a year after the projects originally intended release there had been an entire overhaul. 'Go!' would become Mario's worst performing album so far, only peaking at #21 on the US Billboard, perhaps down to the hype beginning to die out due to constant delays. Mario is now appearing on reality television show, 'Dancing with the Stars', or as it is known in Britain - 'Strictly Come Dancing'. With his dance background he is sure to be a favourite.
==="IF 'TURNING POINT' DIDN'T MAKE IT EVIDENT THAT USHER HAS SOME MORE COMPETITION, 'GO' SEALS THE DEAL. NEXT TIME OUT, HE'LL [MARIO] HOPEFULLY NOT CROSS INTO PRETTY RICKY TERRITORY." - ALLMUSIC.COM
*01, Go! (3.49), 4*
*02, Crying out for Me (4.48), 3*
*03, Skippin' (3.58), 3*
*04, Music for Love (3.49), 3*
*05, Krytonite ft. Rich Boy (4.13), 4*
*06, How Do I Breathe (3.36), 5*
*07, No Definition (3.49), 3*
*08, Why (3.42), 3*
*09, Lay In My Bed (3.35), 4*
*10, Right & A Wrong Way (5.11), 2*
*11, Let Me Watch ft. Juelz Santana (4.24), 3*
*12, Do Right (4.02), 4*
'How Do I Breathe' was the only choice really for a first single released from the album, as it was a natural progression from 'Let Me Love You' and had all the makings to be just as big of a hit. If I could have my way this would have been a track that defined Mario as a hugely successful male solo artist, yet a disappointing peak at #46 on the US Billboard and #21 in the UK chart means this is a track that will wrongly get viewed as a disappointment. The track actually leaked on to the internet long before its appearance on the album, although when the video was eventually released it showed Mario in an upside down world, and hinted to the upcoming release of the album my having a text message come through on his mobile phone with the word, "GO," in large capital letters. Mario assisted in the production of this track, as he did with 'Skippin', 'Kryptonite', 'Why', 'Lay in my Bed', and 'Do Right'.
==="I'M STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF SEEING YOU HURT, I KNOW WHEN YOU LOVE HIM, AND YOU WANNA MAKE IT WORK" - MARIO===
'Crying out for Me' was selected as the second single release after an online poll, where the other contenders were 'Why' and 'Kryptonite'. Personally I would have voted for 'Kryptonite', but you cannot argue with the masses and 'Crying out for Me' went on to be a larger success than the superior 'How Do I Breathe'. 'Crying' peaked at #33 on the US Billboard, whilst not charting in the UK market. The song is something that you would expect from the backstore of Mario, with good vocals singing lyrics to appear to a female audience, although the whole performance is more Omarion than Usher, and I do not believe 'Mr. Confessions' has anything truly to worry about up and coming competition in the R&B market.
'Music for Love' has been announced as the third single to be released sometime during 2008, however I must once again question Mario's choice. Clearly from the title the track is designed as being music to accompany love, yet how much radio exposure I can see this track getting I cannot see. 'Kryptonite' is a standout track featuring Rich Boy (not that you notice him) with an unusual premise behind it, and with a producer like B Cox on the track you know it is destined for success. Mario joins a long line of artists that choose to begin an album with a namesake track, and 'Go' is possibly the most vulgar you shall ever hear Mario as he sings more directly about sex than he ever as, which more than likely earnt him a parental advisory sticker in the UK. There are a lot of potential hits on this album that will never get heard as Mario just isn't that popular, even 'Let Me Watch' featuring Juelz Santana makes the pair sound as though they could be close to the end of their career rather than the start.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Crying out for Me
4 Music for Love
5 Kryptonite - Mario, Rich Boy
6 How Do I Breathe
7 No Definition
9 Lay in My Bed
10 Right and a Wrong Way
11 Let Me Watch - Mario, Juelz Santana
12 Do Right