Friday, 11 May 2012
ALBUM SELECT OF THE WEEK: TANK-NOW OR NEVER
With his time now Tank brings an army of strong slow jams.
As he has fought his way through some career highs and lows Durrell Babbs, a.k.a. Tank has forged himself a high status amongst the greats in R&B music today. From successful co-writing and producing (Missy Elliott's 'One Minute Man', Jamie Foxx, Monica, Donell Jones, etc) to label grounded supergoups with R&B best men Ginuwine and Tyrese (TGT), Tank has contributed a lot to the industry. Now the industry is paying him back after his Grammy nominated, classic 'Sex, Love, Pain' Tank is now a major player in the mainstream. Tank was expected to add 'Sex Love & Pain II: The All Night Experience' to sequel his real original last record but then that changed to 'All Night'(...jeez he really is a machine!) and finally 'Now Or Never' an apt record title in more ways than one.
As an album itself 'Now Or Never' may not be as diverse as the singers last piece but it's more direct. It may not bring the 'Love & Pain' but it brings plenty of 'Sex Music' as the energetic show stopper is the perfect album entry after the big intro 'Showtime'. This emphatic start may not match the tone of the rest of the album but it shows that Tank has arrived, barreling through to start the show.
The 'Celebration' continues with Drake as the pair get cool over a smoothed out, fresh beat. Tank still puts in work all whilst toasting the holidays singing, "you dont wanna miss this it feels like it’s Christmas/like ohh, ohhhhhhhhh/yeah its a holiday but I’m open for business". Toronto's finest Drake also gets down this winter rhyming, "And my free days are just for you, but I don’t get many/Its like every time we spend time, it feels like the first time/Cause we never spend enough time, you catch me at the worst time/It ain’t like your not worth time, just I don’t control it/But tonight I made it happen just to celebrate the moment/Give it up one time."
On the next track and single 'Emergency' Tank keeps the soul sirens blaring. With a slow and meaningful into and song the singer drops lyrics of deep desperation over heart beat monitor production. Tank feels for the ladies as he flows through concepts "Got a lady on the line, screaming/I’m what she need, oh/I done got this call a thousand times/I’m leaving, rushing to see, oh/I got the sirens on, (I’m running every light)/She said she’s home alone, (and need it in her life)/Until I get there just, stay on the line". These desperate measures are recorded even higher on the next track 'Scream' where Tank goes from state to state, matching the tight piano production with some fitting vocals.
Over some sick guitar licks that Donell Jones would be proud of Tank is where he want's to be 'Keeping it 100'. He then indulges in some 'Foreplay' with Chris Brown (...erm) which results in more songs that strengthen this album. Tank keeps the filler fresh on 'Can I' and 'Amazing' but he saves the epic, best for last. Over some trademark Tank piano, Babbs goes to a new level of deep, devotion on 'You Mean That Much'. The singer drops soulful, sentiment with lyrics like "I’ll stand of the front line, take a bullet that’s not mine/I’ll leave it lay down by … cause you mean that much to me".
On the albums closer 'I Can't Make You Love Me' Tank gives us his vintage piano driven, well written ballads which has helped make singer like Dave Hollister and Marques Houston famous (because of Tank's production too) and continues to break this artist further into chart consciousness. With signature lyrics like "Turn down the lights/Turn down the bed/Turn down this voices/Inside my head/Lie down with me/Tell me no lies/Just to be close/Don’t patronize" Tank signs off perfectly. If this record probably sounds familiar it's probably because this artists magic, Midas touch has been on other peoples records for decades.
Still even though Tank's ivory and vocal touch has helped other artists paint with his brush it's more than about time that this singer's canvas was appreciated by the industry. Even with his success and notoriety this star is sinfully underrated. Just as talented as his fellow R&B renaissance leading, TGT men Durrell Babbs is one hell of an artist. With another great album to add to the set and more credits coming for the workaholic singer/songwriter/producer, triple threat it's never too late to appreciate one of the best...NOW! TIM DAVID HARVEY.