Thursday, December 11, 2008

Album Review: Jamie Foxx - Intuition (3.5/5)

I'd say out of the all the R&B artist that have migrated into acting, the ones that can balance and success greatly both their acting and singing responsibilities, Jamie Foxx comes out on top. His films do well and his albums sell by the bucket loads. Foxx became the first R&B artist to win an Oscar and score a number one album. (Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Hudson all do well at this too). His last album, Unpredictable was his album in 11 years; his debut album, Peep This went out virtually unknown. Unpredictable was the surprise hit of 2005; adopting a sultry sense of R&B, with lushes of pop. His latest, Intuition uses the same formula--but isn't a better offering. When compared to, Unpredictable this is a more pop contemporary offering--filled with many songs that would do well as singles.

What this and its predecessor share is that its a very star studded album. Finding features from Lil' Wayne, T.I., Ne-Yo, T-Pain and The-Dream. But despite the somewhat cramped amount of guests there are plenty songs on here, where Foxx performs by himself and he sounds immaculate. I like how he doesn't need features from rappers to make him sound good, but he features them anyway. The opens neatly with, "Just Like Me" with T.I., which begins with an acoustic guitar covered by T.I.'s ramblings. An R&B soaked bassline, with gushes of synth--it's the perfect opener. The songs lyrics talk about a man cheating on his girl and being mad when she does it back. I would like to hear a 100% acoustic version of this song, I believe it would sound really good.

The albums kicks it up a notch with the Justin Timberlake reminiscent, The Timbaland produced "I Don't Need" it sounds like Timberlake's, "LoveStoned" thumping with a funky vocalized bassline, with some faint clicks murmuring beneath the surface. Somewhere between the verses and the chorus, the horns begin to kick, which also sounds really good. "Number One," with Lil' Wayne, I shouldn't really like--because really it's a tuneless song with a bland distorted kinetic bassline. But there's something about it that keeps me listening, it's actually quite pleasing. I'll take it as a guilty pleasure, Lil' Wayne puts in a good verse too.

Kanye West and The-Dream pop up on, "Digital Girl" it's a spacey number, backed with tambourines and a thumping bass to keep it urban. It's a nice song, but does drag on a bit--5 minutes to be exact--Jamie Foxx doesn't actually start singing until minutes into the song, whilst he's waiting; Kanye West makes references to T-Pain's song, "Can't Believe It" with Lil' Wayne and The-Dream makes references to his own song, "I Luv Ur Girl."

Among the best on the album is the current single--the vocodered,"Blame It" with T-Pain, pulsing with synth a smooth beat and a killer chorus, it could be among Foxx's best song ever. The stuttering in the chorus ("Blame it on the a-a-alcohol"). It's more slower the other stuff on the album, but it still makes you want to move. The even slower, "She Got Her Own" with Ne-Yo, is a sweet piano backed number, with a smooth but faintly thundering bassline. It sounds like a part 2 to Ne-Yo's own, "Miss Independent."

The second half of the album is somewhat lacking, but maintains an above-decent-venture. "I Don't Know," is a smooth mid-tempo and has a nice melody but lacks a strong kick to solidfy the song. "Weekend Lover," another slow number, also has a nice melody but it's too empty lacking any sort of drive. It's pretty big on the 808 machine. "Why," falls into the same shoes as the previous 2, except this has a bit more drive with a stronger bassline and a more distinctive melody. I also like it when the strings kick in during the second half of the song.

"Freak'in Me," was one of the initial tracks I heard before hearing the album in full, I wasn't too happy with it at first, but I really like it. It's your archetypal bump'n'grind numbers; adding a haunting element to it.

The rest of the album is filler; "Slow," is another bump'n' grind number, but at this point it's overdone. "Rainman," and "Overdose," are just there to lengthen the album. Intuition is a good album, but falls apart when the second half approaches--but this can't overshadow the tracks worthy of praise. Unpredictable remains the surperior album.

Best: Blame It, She Got Her Own, I Don't Need It, Just Like Me, Number One

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