Sunday, 10 August 2014
The Return Of The King.
Rolling R&B superstar Tank has been been seemingly bench pressing amazing albums over the last half decade. He can't stop. It seems like Tank feels he owes it to his passion and talent to release as much quality music as humanly possible. This is his time. This 'One Man', 'Force Of Nature' changed the strike-force of his career with the Grammy nominated 'Sex, Love & Pain' and its battalion of hit singles like 'Please Don't Go'. Not only did this album lead to it's formidable follow up 'Now Or Never' (originally titled 'Sex & Pain II' and we can't wait for the real sequel) and then the 'This Is How I Feel' last solo soldiering, not a year and change after. But the superstar remix of 'Please Don't Go' also led to a collaboration with fellow R&B leading men Tyrese and Ginuwine. Following this remix and a little bit of label pain, Atlantic changed the landscape of these 'Three Kings' legend and legacy as the supergroup released an album last year under their TGT group. Now in the wake of a worldwide tour, fame and a following that is fond for a follow up the guys are going solo again. 'The Bachelor' Ginuwine is working on some new music, whilst megastar Tyrese is looking to add a 'Black Rose' book to what he says will be his last album all inbetween filming the seventh installment of the off the road 'Fast & Furious', Diesel ignited franchise. As for Tank arguably the hardest working and best man in rhythm and blues, this week he gets even 'Stronger' with his seventh seal of success.
The man that has penned hits for everyone from Mrs. Carter, Beyonce to Hollywood star Jamie Foxx has just wrote a top ten list of new classics for himself for what may be his most inspired and original album...and we felt his last one almost took away the 'Sex, Love & Pain', but we hadn't heard anything until we streamed this. The same man who has been giving fans a day by day Instagram workout regime is giving us a step by step routine of how to exercise a classic album. From a refreshed style to a throwback production of a beat change at the break, serving as an inspired interlude to each song, that feels like separate songs in their own great right, just like Gin used to mix with. From the beautiful black and white artwork of women from tomorrow to today, to the super soulful song itself Tank's 'You're My Star' opening single and track show not just women of the world but the man himself that they and he truly shines. Forget a 'Blurred Line' this magic is so Motown Marvin Gaye has got to give it up. As Durrell Babbs hooks "Yeah, girl of my dreams/Fell from the sky now she's hang with me/Can't believe my eyes sayin what they see/Got the brightest star in the galaxy", he writes with a Wonder that guys like Stevie and Sam would have sang about. This throwback sound fast forwards into the seventies of decades after that are also gone but a hallmark of todays yearn for nostalgia. All the way until the 'Nobody Better' follow up track that keeps this party going for the soul soldier and king of broken hearts that seems to be taking some shore leave into the nightspot of a new tide and time. Stepping into a real relationship and the name of love like the R. in R&B Kelly. Turning the ignition of R&B club-jams with smooth soul even further, Tank two-steps again on the third track 'Dance With Me', that is the best rhythm on the dance floor since another R&B supergroup 112 released a track of the same name. With so many jams the only thing missing is some 'Shots Fired' with Chris Brown in this mans sequel, single smash to their big and bold 'Lonely' collaboration. The man that was the songwriting and producing heart of his own supergroup trifecta TGT shows that when it comes to this big three, he's king LeBron James and reaching for his genres throne itself it all continues on 'I Gotta Have It' that shows this man like Cam'Ron once said is on a "rocking recital" and "won't stop until he's on top with the title".
The belt should definitly go to this knockout, boxer built, R&B star who after the first half of the party, switches to the slow jams of heartbreak hotel numbers that are the bread and butter of his meat and potatoes career. 'Missing You' another song as classic as the 112 song of the same level evens this all out. The simple but straight-forward lyrics of waiting by the phone and being engaged with heartache show how honest and heartfelt this genuine guys talent can get. As he laments "Miss the way we danced to our song/Miss the way we love all night long/Miss the way we make future plans/Miss you when I just don't understand" this is as real and raw as it gets for a man that rejects a modern R&B thug culture and shows like Ne*Yo that its all about the year of the gentleman. Nothing in music means more than showing who you really are and with his cards on the table and a heart anything but up his sleeve this man shows he truly is stronger than the thug life of wannabe rappers singing the same hook. With his own original songs he proves for him this won't be the 'Same Way', channeling Andre 3000 "for ever, ever" before unveiling his latest big ballad and hot hit record in 'I Hope This Makes You Love Me'. With lyrics like, "Look at me I'm such a mess/and I normaly would keep this off to myself/all my heart is filled with pain/and I normaly wouldn't cry but ima' let it rain" it really will on a track that may even soar past 'You're My Star' as the latest and greatest hit of this singer. The title track speaks for itself before the last two tracks show that this man has a couple more tricks up that same sleeve he wears his heart on. 'Thanking You' with lines like "All out of pieces, all out of parts/All out of moves, all out of cards/All out of reason, all out of hope/All out of seasons, all out of growth/All out of joy, all out of sun/All out of laughter, all out of fun", just when you thought it was all over, he puts different ways of writing and producing songs on his broad shoulders. With no more burdens to bear, he takes the pain of the past and writes stellar songs in the name of music, but his deepest devotions are dedicated to all he'll do for what matters in his heart and you can hear that 'If That's What It Takes' for the closing jam. As he vows "This conversation is pure desperation/I'll dig for you diamond/Brick by brick I'll build you a home/If that's what it'll take /I'll be your soldier" it's clear nothing is getting in the way of this Tank on his path to soul salvation. From the words wrote down on paper to all he's handing to an industry in need of inspiration, it's clear R&B is in safe strong hand with this soul soldier. Hoo-Rah! TIM DAVID HARVEY.