Exciting news: B.o.B. has released his second album! If you couldn’t get enough of “Airplane” and “Nothin’ on You” then you’ll be thrilled about the release of the album “Strange Clouds.”
But before we get to the album, let’s clear up the acronym. What the heck does B.o.B. stand for anyway? I had a few theories. I thought it might stand for Bombs Over Baghdad, like the Outkast song. Or maybe it was related to a boring series of phonetic books for new readers. Or perhaps it was paying tribute to those little yellow signs in a car window that says “Baby on Board,” the kind that means you shouldn’t hit the car (it’s fine to hit it if you don’t see that sign). Surprisingly, all of those theories were incorrect. What does B.o.B. really stand for?
Thrilling, which is why he decided to bedazzle it with extraneous punctuation and misplaced capital letters. Now that’s what I call gangsta! (and I would know) B.o.B. also goes by Bobby Ray, his given name, which was apparently also not exciting enough, so B.o.B. it is.
Now, on to the music. I rather liked “Strange Clouds.” Of course I was fresh off a series of rather mediocre albums, so B.o.B. livened things up a bit. He has a tone that is more sing-song than rapper, which gives the songs a lighter sound. He is also refreshingly (mostly) profanity free. The most notable exception is the duet he does with that potty-mouthed little Nicki Minaj (a future post may ponder how those British girls who sing Nicki’s songs on Ellen DeGeneres are able to spit out clean versions).
Most rappers seem to be afflicted by autophobia (the fear of being alone), and B.o.B. is no exception; in fact, he calls in some rather heavy hitters to keep him company. In addition to Ms. Minaj, we also hear from Lil Wayne (I guess that song also had quite a bit of swearing, come to think of it), Morgan Freeman (talking, not singing), Chris Brown and T.I., Trey Songz and…Taylor Swift. Don’t ask me how that last one made the cut- trying to mix things up, I guess. There is even one song in which B.o.B. seems to be answering his own lyrics, which is rather entertaining. He’s like that golfer who yells at himself when he has a bad swing.
I liked the album overall, but the songs that stood out for me were “So Good” (that one is creeping up the iTunes chart), “So Hard to Breathe,” “Castles” (featuring Trey Songz) and “Both of Us” (featuring Taylor Swift).
Here is the video for “So Good”- he’s adorable. Enjoy!
Filed under: Album Reviews