Bow Wow sure kept the release for his 7th studio album New Jack City II tight-lipped, I didn't even know he was planning an album release this year. New Jack City II is Bow Wow's first album since 2006s The Price of Fame which spawned the U.S. top 10 hit "Shortie Like Mine" with Chris Brown.
His last album release was a collaborative effort with R&B singer Omarion, Face Off, aside from a few highlights (notably "Girlfriend" and "Hey Baby") the album was very disappointing. New Jack City II is a very courteous representation of old school hip-hop, associating the typical modulation between well crafted and fastly sung lyrics with catchy hardcore beats.
Whilst The Price of Fame ventured in a some-what serious standpoint, New Jack City is noticeably more boisterous and diverting and also very star studded. The single "You Can Get It All" with Johnta Austin, is a wonderful mid-paced number, featuring marvelous piano chords in the background --probably the best song on the album. "What They Call Me" with Nelly and Ron Browz is another killer --incorporating horns, drums and a very gritty, infectious bass. "Been Doin' This" with T.I. is more slow but another good track --well calculated verses I should add. "Like This" is very summery, venturing in a more slow jam orientation, but it's certainly no "Let Me Hold You". Unfortunately the album does contain some dry spots. "She's My" with T-Pain should've been very good --but it's very bland and tepid. "I Ain't Playin" with Trey Songz sounds like a grower --as it's typical drum, bell and handclap hip-hop-- but for the moment it does nothing for me.
"Pole In My Basement" is another highlight --very adult and sensual-- (like almost all hip-hop is these days). "Roc The Mic" with Jermaine Dupri and "Like This" are also good cuts. New Jack City II is a good album, but not great, 2005s Wanted is his best offering --the album spawned the hit "Like You" with Ciara and collectively it was great too.
Best Tracks: What They Call Me, You Can Get It All, Rock the Mic, Pole In My Basement, Been Doin' This