Album review: B.O.B – 'Strange Clouds'
If an average rap fan was asked to describe Atlanta-based rapper, B.O.B, “one of a kind” is more likely to come up than “the best rapper alive”, and to an end, that is a shame.
His latest offering, Strange Clouds, is a unique, creative and outlandish offering for hip hop listeners and has more than a fair share of treats for pop music lovers.
The Nothing on You hitmaker continues to collaborate with pop music’s biggest names for more of the same youth appeal found in his fun debut, The Adventures of Bobby Ray.
The smash hit single, So Good, is an example of the irresistible cheer that B.O.B (born Bobby Ray Simmons Jr) exudes naturally in his music. But perhaps if the chorus was done by a vocalist besides B.O.B (Cooler Than Me crooner, Mike Posner, maybe) it would have elevated the songs quality to sheer magic.
Taylor Swift’s contribution to Both of Us is endearing enough to make any listener a fan of the You Belong With Me songstress.
On the title track, Strange Clouds, B.O.B goes toe to toe with rap sensation Lil Wayne with equally sharp verses and punchlines.
Out of My Mind featuring Nicki Minaj is an addictive psychotic mind trip where the two rappers sound brilliant, insane and just plain silly, all at once.
On the breathtaking Play For Keeps, B.O.B shines as a lyricist as he proudly exclaims “vinni viddi vicci, I came, I saw, I conquered”.
Castles featuring Trey Songz has a feel good element to it, but at times the rhythm of the song is all too awkward.
The crowning moment of the album has to be the sentimental Never Let You Go featuring One Republic front man Ryan Tedder, where he lays his love bare in song.
On Strange Clouds, listeners will find a credible wordsmith and rapper but who is not afraid to create bubbly, fun music that fans outside hip hop circles will enjoy.
B.O.B does, on this album, what equally talented young rappers often fail to. He makes music that is engaging and fun. And how many rappers can say that they featured Hollywood legend, Morgan Freeman on their second album?