Wednesday, 19 March 2014
TANK Feature-SOUL SOLDIER
Drop and give me 10 for the R&B general! Ten for ten, how about one of the best R&B singers the world has ever seen? With two of the others, Ginuwine and Tyrese by his TGT side. How about three times a lady worth of soul classics that would make a Commodore proud like his live Soul Train cover of Richie's 'Zoom'? Let's hear it for one of the best artists out there today, regardless of genre. Let's hear it for five releases over the last half-decade including a mixtape and super, supergroup project. The soul sixth sense of producing rhythm and blues hits for the likes of massive movie star and classic comedian friend Jamie Foxx and the queen of R&B Aaliyah. The seventh seal of the sacrimony of Sunday morning music supplementing Saturday nights sin. The eight wonder of urban music from hip-hop to real heart and soul. Nine is the number of Grammy Awards and counting this eight time nominee can hope to see as he now has a top ten hit with his new sublime single 'You're My Star' from the R&B battalion, soul soldiers forthcoming 'Stronger' album that sees our soul star take it back to the good ole Motown days of Wonder, Stevie, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and more like the instant vintage of 'Stone Rollin'' modern day legend Raphael Saadiq and the way he sees and hears it. If that wasn't enough for the man that followed 2012 and one of his best albums 'This Is How I Feel' with his 'Three Kings' TGT project and tour with 'Pony' 'Bachelor' legend Ginuwine and 'Fast & Furious', 'Transformer' movie star and book writer Tyrese last year, the man is about to flip 'The Preachers Kid' script to more acting too. The hardest working man in R&B just filled up his dance card. It's time to step in his name of love. Don't make him write another 'Underrated'.
"I done wrote songs that made tears fall/I done wrote songs that made your ex call/Songs that'll make grown men get down on bended knee/And the things that I do you only gone get from me but I'm so underrated". We couldn't say it better than the man himself he's got a God's gift but still they don't hear him...they're about to. He's "made companies a lot of paper" and "not even peaked yet" and it's about to get even bigger and better for the Diesel muscle bound talent with his feel-good sound of 'You're My Star' and its black and white artwork dedication to the great women of generations gone by. He's patiently waited and it's about that time. Critics put down your pens and arms and open some, this is a man who already had a new, big-hit single last year-even when his TGT project was out-with 'Shots Fired' in the club. A great, second song and follow up to the swear-its-good singled out 'Lonely'-and their first 'Foreplay' collaboration-with controversial star Chris Brown. Able to make hits with a troubled industry guy like this confirms one thing to even the love lost haters...this Tank is bulletproof. He's "switching the style up" and is about to "watch the money pile up", hate or love it not. With 'Stronger' set to strong arm the scorching Summer like a movie-making blockbuster like his 'Three Kings' royal appointment with the R&B throne did last year. The king has spoken and this is truly his year like sitting courtside watching the King James in Miami. It's about to get real hot for this Buck from Milwaukee and heads are about to roll.
The 'Blackground' of this model 'Atlantic' records all singing and dancing talent has more in his locked and loaded discography than you think. This is the man that unchained 'Django' and 'Ray' movie megastar Jamie Foxx's soul sound with the writing and production of the likes of 'This Love' and some brilliant, underrated, crate finding B-sides for the record ('Did We', 'Come On Over', 'Marching On' and 'Till I Met Your Sister'). The two recentely showed Toronto and New York's Niagara Falls a concert wonder. This is a guy who's dynamically duetted with the likes of Keyshia Cole ('Tired Of Doing Me') and seemingly everyone on R&B on the big, brillaint soul teamwork, posses cut 'If You Dream' from the LeBron James hoops documentary 'More Than A Game'. A song that began brilliantly with Tank's legcay lasting lyrics of, "I never thought the sun would shine my way/All I've known is empty promises and pain/I need a way out or some type of escape/So I take refuge in this place". This is the kind of depth and decadence that puts this grown-man on the R. Kelly in R&B king scale in this young Ne-Yo and Chris Brown and vocoder world of modern-day, watered down R&B. Still, today even in father time this mans taking all the kids to school and proving real soul comes from the heart and not the autotune. Even if theres a Roger Troutman, Blacksteet style talk box, voice distort on the end of TGT's hit single 'Sex Never Felt Better'. Still, different to the vocoder the talk box modifies musical instrument and when talented singers like Tank's voices are instruments in themselves then this actually makes for some inspired sounds of epic experimentation. See 'Off Your Hands' or the 'This Is How I Feel (Interlude)' songs off his last great album...and you thought Jamie Foxx's electronic Electro voice off the new 'Amazing Spider-Man' movie was cool.
This Hawk of an R&B Avenger arrows the game like a shot from cupids heart. Whether with a plastic tube in his mouth or not this guys changing the frequency of the game and putting the heart paddles to R&B and resucitating it. 'Three Kings' showed the youth what R&B had been missing from it's 30 something generation and Tank manned the lion share of the boards and production all the way to Christmas days 'Be My Holiday' generous gift of good free download tidings. From the 'Lonely' like 'Take It Wrong' intro to standouts like the big three of 'Running Back', 'Burn Out' and 'Tearing It Down', where Tank's vocals bridged the verses and hooks in all his harmonies alongside superstar Tyrese and the legend Ginuwine, who put themselves in the Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, Jagged Edge and 112 ranks of classic guy groups. The huge single and best track 'I Need' says it all as Tank truly opens it up, singing "I hope you see my heart from here/And I hope that this will make us strong/I hope the truth has made it clear/And I hope that we can learn and move on/This time the stakes are way too high/I see what I’m about to lose/It’s time I let the old me die/Mistakes or love I gotta choose". Rarely in this urban game have we seen honesty, heart, vulnerability and dedication laid out bare on single track like this, like Ginuwine's 'Last Chance' or Tyrese's 'Stay'. This from a guy built like he could throw you out of a club too. The 'Stronger' 'Star' is proving he's man enough to up the game and throw it out the club instead. It's about soul now, not just sex. Tank's running down the weak and healing the industrys true sound...Marvin would have to give it up and be proud. These aren't the 'Blurred Lines' of a monster hit that could lead to more troubled times for a former soul star on the sell-out. This is the clear skys of a man who refuses to change who he is for the chart. Now that's how you truly change the game.
Tank's done exactly that. From his divine debut rolling through the 'Force Of Nature' to his 'Diary Of A Mad Man' mixtape of a journal of could of been chart hits like 'I'm On One', 'Stars Girl' and practically the whole highlight reel. Look for his new one 'High Piano Dreams' this year too for an ivory tough throwback talent that is far from throwaway as the 'One Man' sophmore success over slump showed. This guy even motored up, under the hood for the 'Fast & Furious' before Tyrese's '2 Fast' Roman Pearce, remixing and retooling cameo star Ja Rule's 'Race Against Time'. This guy hit the nitrogen injection on his own career with the Grammy nominated 'Sex, Love & Pain' album and it's Grammy nominated single 'Please Don't Go' which lead to a remix featuring Tyrese and Ginuwine and well the rest that is now R&B history. The legacy of this album also featured the dum, dum, dum, inspired, down the aisle march of 'Wedding Song', along with the original Timbaland 'I Like Them Girls' collabo to go along with 'Coldest' tracks like 'I Hate You', 'Coming Home', 'Heartbreaker' (and it's "Babygirl, tell me how again I'm supposed to trust you now/After everything you admitted to me/And I'm sitting here tryna find a way to forget somehow/Cause I'm feeling like you cut me too deep/Girl I blame myself cause I told you ; lay it on the line/Never thought that you would lay it that way/Never thought you had so much to say/Never thought that I'd see the day/Where we almost cross the line between love and hate" lyrics), 'I Love You' and more classic confliction with conviction in a sonic studio sound. A more mature sound that ushers in the grown, Carl Thomas, Musiq Soulchild and Avant type of real soul singers.
The highly anticpated sequel album didn't happen, but Tank moved and rolled on by calling the follow up 'Now & Never' bringing Drake ('Celebration'), 'Sex Music' and the 'Emergency' of new classics to the true 'All Night Experience' that screamed with classics like 'You Mean That Much' and his 'I Can't Make You Love Me' cover that even bests the artist Prince's version. The experience won't be stopping 'till the Maxwell cops come knocking because not even more than a year after 'Now & Never', Tank returned with arguably his best album ever in 'This Is How I Feel'. From the Prince guitar like sounds of 'Lost It All'(laying it all down on the chorus, "I don't care if they take the house and all the rides/If they throw me in jail and the judge sentences me to life/'Cause I already lost it all, lost it all/'Cause I already lost it all, lost it all/When I lost you" for a man no longer a player like Joe) to the desperate dedicated devotion of 'Next Breath', it was Tank that proved he was 'Your One'. He sang about finding a man better than him but after proving he was one of the kings and firing shots a year later, who is? Now Tank's new sex, love and no more pain of a 'Stronger' soul sound looks to best it all as this military hard-working man arms up once again for the hit-season. From knocking out the national anthem at Mayweather fights to pulling no punches the former football star at college has graduated to veteran status. Now the 'Dreamgirls' composing contributor is about to score his own dreams come true. This Tank just keeps on rolling.