Monday, 7 May 2012
REVIEW: TANK-THIS IS HOW I FEEL
Feeling Good, Feeling Great.
R&B superstar Tank just keeps on rolling with a barrage of hits in his rhythm and blues arsenal. The singer/songwriter who has written and produced hits for everyone from Ja Rule to frequent collaborator Jamie Foxx and even helped score the Oscar winning 'Dreamgirls' movie finally has his own aim on the charts as this underground legend has finally found the mainstream success that he so richly deserves. After the Grammy nominated success of the classic 'Sex, Love & Pain' Durrell Babbs returned with the make or break 'Now Or Never' in 2010. It truly made him too with hits like 'Emergency', 'Sex Music' and 'Celebration' (featuring hip-hop leading man Drake). Not even a year after the success and praise of his chart climbing album, Tank paid his own 'Compliments' with a stunning, praise-worthy single prepping his new album.
If that wasn't enough more artillery came with the real track turning 'Diary Of A Mad Man' mixtape (The highlight off this reel 'Underrated' is featured on this new album as a bonus) released to close out 2011 and the weekly Kanye West/Timbaland inspired 'Tank Tuesdays' done of late to whet fans appetites for this new album. With all this work we haven't even begun to mention his other 'side' project with R&B megastars Tyrese and Ginuwine. Despite some label pains the TGT group looks set to takeover R&B. That is however unless Tank doesn't do that himself as his new album ('This Is How I Feel') is further rhyme to the reason and notion that this star can not only stand next to today's legends Tyrese and Ginuwine musically, but can also stand atop this urban soul music scene.
This is just how we feel and 'This Is How I Feel' is another range of Tank tracks full of real emotion and genuine spirit. Hot off the heels of his last L.P. not even a year and a half old, Babbs crafts another full feature length that has the makings of a true modern great. The hardest working and most underrated man in music won't be ignored and can't be denied with another stellar set with new production and vocal values that should leave him being the most sought-after singer and producer in the urban soul game. All R&B singers should use Tank's new model of production on their future releases.
The Kris Stephens 'Compliments' are extended here on the album version featuring top ATL rapper T.I. to top it off while Tank's movie 'Preachers Kid' inspired single 'Next Breath' shows the singers other, deeper, more vulnerable side, breathing even more feeling and realness into this piece. The R&B general really sets things off by bringing foot soldier Chris Brown on board for another collabo. After his guest spot on Tank's last album, Chris Breezy gets 'Lonely' with Babbs for another great-if expletive filled-big, signature, single style hook-up. The 'featuring' finds dig even deeper as veteran legend Busta Rhymes shows his good old self over the kinetic beats of 'Nowhere', a song that takes us everywhere.
'Your One' is another singled out success, while 'Don't Give Up' puts in work for the females. The man who blessed the LeBron James 'More Than A Game' soundtrack with a massive 'If You Dream' collaboration, extends his range even further with the neglectful man chiding 'Off Your Hands' . Which is as good as R&B legend Joe's man versus man album favorite 'You Dropped Your Dime' off 'And Then'. Don't adjust your iPod's, this slow-drawl, slowed down vocal sound is not like when you Walkman's used to run out of battery. It's a Tupac 'R U Still Down' era inspired, chopped and screwed, cool and sublime, experimental vocal range from the slow jam king which extends on to the 'This Is How I Feel' interlude. An interlude found on the intermission laden more deluxe edition of this album.
'Better Than Me' shows more of the singers best work, while 'Lost It All' and it's Prince 'Purple Rain' esque guitar beginnings is one of the albums deepest and realest cuts, hitting home hard. Still its the album titled 'This Is How I Feel' that has the sirens ringing. The evocative, energy filled track breathes atmosphere and steam through the speakers. All in all with another grown and sexy mature R&B album that crosses gender and cultural lines Tank shows his straight forward/shooting/talking music is real enough for anybody. The genuine talent adds another C.D. of classic cuts to add to his ever growing and impressive catalogue. The songbook is getting stronger, thanks to Tank's armored talent. It all feels so good now. TIM DAVID HARVEY.