Wednesday, 27 January 2016
REVIEW: TANK-SEX, LOVE & PAIN II
The last T but by all means the most in his TGT supergroup with musician/actor/author Tyrese Gibson and R&B legend Ginuwine, Tank has rolled his way to the top as the LeBron James of real R&B. A real Cavalier talent, the General from Washington D.C. is the leader of the current school and doesnt look to be out of session anytime soon with his forever young sound. Even hitting his 40th birthday, showing us that maybe four decades is the new twenty. With already plenty under the hood following the salad days of his 'One Man' and 'Force Of Nature' albums, his ground broken through album 'Sex, Love & Pain' became Grammy certified thanks to classics like 'Wedding Song', 'Coldest', 'Heartbreaker' and the huge hit 'Please Dont Go'. Since then the man who even has his own T.V. show has had even more in reserve, releasing albums at a Ghostface Killah, almost yearly rate, showing us that like the Wu Tang Clan he was nothing to F with. 'Now Or Never' showed his time was then and still to this day, before 2012's 'This Is How I Feel' furthered that feeling even to himself. Before he took the throne with T and G a year later as the 'Three Kings' of grown and sexy rhythm and blues. Only a year later again following that he came back 'Stronger' than ever and Motown moved with maybe his best record to date if 'You're My Star' or 'Hope This Makes You Love Me' has anything to sing about it. Moonlighting and burning the midnight studio oil whilst writing hits for the likes of everyone from young gun Chris Brown to Hollywood movie Walk of Fame star Jamie Foxx, Tank's even had the time to roll out a mixtape ('Diary Of A Mad Man') and special Valentines Day covers E.P. ('If You Were Mine') that was crazy to believe almost a year ago. You've got to love it!
Now how about a sequel? Because Tank is moving forward with Part 2 to the album that started all of this. 'Sex, Love Pain II' brings the love making heart and hurt back to a watered down industry thirsting for more depth. The depths this industry leader has brought again and again over the last half decade, quality album after quality album. With his last five albums Tank is giving you Spotify fiends so much material that you can just let party play like one of the greats or a soul icon and legend that he is becoming...if not already! Following his rhyme partner Tyrese's best album 'Black Rose' (which Tank classically contributed to with the previously recorded T and T collabo 'Prior To You'), Tank brings us the perfect follow up that judging from its showered black and white artwork its going to have you covered during the mid-nite hour. Its a collaborative process too. After 'Foreplay', 'Lonely' and the unreleased club hit 'Shots Fired', Chris Breezy joins Durrell Babbs, Siya and Sage The Gemini for the hash-tagged '#BDay' and its a formidable, fashion fit for this social media trending age. Just like the cool and cold as frost touch 'She Wit The Shit' "wit" Rich Homie Quan, or the heart and urban soul of 'I Love Ya' featuring Yo Gotti. Still nothing compares to these two. The Shawn Stockman nostalgia party of 'Already In Love' and the lead single 'You Dont Know' featuring fellow District Of Colombia native Wale on the rapping 16. Still like a hilarious 'Bishop Cognac' skit this singer is at his very best when Tank is being Tank on this pure powerhouse, polished produced soundtrack to digital age, midnight love and hate for your sonically charged speaker boxes. F with that!
Like his last few releases this album begins with an inspired intro that could serve as a song itself with the 'SLP2' album abbreviation. If you liked 'Sex Love & Pain', you're going to love 'Sex, Love & Pain II' too. 'F##### Wit Me' is expletively good, whilst the partner problem solving 'Relationship Goals' will have you reevaluating yours. Still the best is saved for last for a man who takes his 'Next Breath' before 'Thanking You'. 'So Cold' could be the sub zero chill inducing sequel to 'Coldest' (with his lamenting lyrical exercise of "I bailed out when I promised I was gonna save you/Man down, I didn't man up till later/Now I'm serving these apologies like a waiter/You look at me now/Needing you back, down on my knees"). Whilst 'Him, Her, Them' sets the mood right and gets everyone involved. And if you thought that was good wait until your playlist selects 'Better For You'. After 'This Is How I Feel's' 'Better Than Me' it looks like the soul soldier is feeling differently...and we're all the better for it. As Tank sings, "All she ask for; occasional roses/that romance drug; given in doses/I could hear you, but I didn't listening/I was near you, now you've gone missing/How could I not promise you perfection?/I'm gonna have to answer to my reflection" lyrically and introspectively he's barely been better. And following his outstanding original, Tank gives us a sequel more than worthy of 'Sex, Love & Pain'. In fact he given us the R&B album of 2016...even if we havent even left the first month of the year. As a matter of fact January's very own best serves a new bar for any album in any genre, lyric by lyric, bar by bar, harmony by harmony. Making for one great melody. Now how about a trilogy menage? You know the third king Tank has enough firepower for that. After all, he's already got the throne. Just watch it! TIM DAVID HARVEY.