Reviewed by: Andrew Rivkin, May 14, 2012.
Andrew Rivkin recalls driving around the streets of Toronto last year listening to the radio constantly hearing songs like “Nothin’ on You” and “Airplanes“. These two mainstream/radio oriented singles off of B.o.B‘s debut album helped him soar to new heights in the music industry. B.o.B’s debut, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, was received by all with great praise and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album was the result of a seamless mix of hip hop and pop-a combination that succeeds all the time. Andrew Rivkin notes that the addition of pop superstar Bruno Mars to the hook of “Nothin’ on You” propelled the single to new heights. Rivkin also likes the addition of Hayley Williams of the band Paramore to the smash hit “Airplanes” which also appears on the album a second time with an additional verse by rap heavyweight Eminem.
Strange Clouds picks up where The Adventures of Bobby Ray left off two years prior. The introductory track off of the album is properly one of the more surprising ones as it begins with a dialogue from actor Morgan Freeman. After this brief interruption in the scheduled programming, B.o.B begins doing what he does best-spitting killer verses. Andrew Rivkin notes that on the standout track “So Good” B.o.B. sounds the most comfortable; with ambitious production, catchy chorus work, and no features.
Andrew Rivkin observes the the features are more robust on B.o.B’s sophomore album compared to his debut release. Boasting guest verses and choruses’ from Nicki Minaj, Ryan Tedder (One Republic), T.I., Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Taylor Swift among others. The biggest collaboration is the single “Both of Us” featuring a killer hook from country superstar Taylor Swift. This collaboration is B.o.B’s attempt to recreate the success of his single “Airplanes”. While Andrew Rivkin can hear the similarities in both songs, he still likes “Airplanes” over “Both of Us”
Go support B.o.B and purchase the 15-track album on iTunes.
Strange Clouds (feat. Lil Wayne)
Both of Us (feat. Taylor Swift)