When Tyrese is not dolling out advice that has me at WTF to women, he is such a chocolate wonder! I first became acquainted with his fine self after watching his video I like them girls. His well defined torso had me wanting to be his sweet lady. The only problem with this 'fantasy' was my lack of full allegiance. Blame it on Usher. Tyrese kept asking me ' how you gonna act like that' , to which I was without an answer. Therefore, I decided the best thing to do was to disengage from anything Tyrese related. Now, almost 10 years later, his chocolate fooiiiiness is calling me back to do a review of his latest, album Open Invitation. It's his first independently released, 5th studio album. Join me in dipping and bumping some chocolate wonder music! Yummmm....
The opening number, I’m home is Tyrese reclaiming his R&B forte, hence the home inference with a cocky attitude that only a chocolate wonder like him should be given a pass. The track is mellow, chill with hip-hop beats in the background as Tyrese delves into the mysteries of where he has been, and acknowledging his need to make a comeback to the R&B scene in appreciation of his fans, who have held it down for him since his departure. It has a Drake-Thank me Later-feel to it. It did not have star quality written over it. I wanted him to come harder than that, it was just bleh!
I Gotta A Chick is a nice progression from the mellow-let’s chill to a groovy get your two step on. It shows him right at home (pun intended) and comfortable with his woman that has enough respect to make him feel like a President. There are no macho pretenses with this one right here. R-Kelly does the reprise and Rick Rozay, lends a rap or two. I found his part, to be rather useless but oh well. Probably because I like him in more gritty numbers like BMF that certify his prison guard gangsta!
Stay in my opinion should have been Tyrese’s numero uno. Ooooowi!!! This is where the R&B part of the album begins! It is very sensual, smooth and the delivery has lots of soul to it! The hypnotic guitar strumming and Tyrese’s sincerity in righting the wrongs and making amends with his first lady is very apparent. He is willing to do whatever it takes for her to stay. The mood in this song, reminds of an era gone by where gentle always preceded men. There’s a southern feel to this song, which makes me picture a man and his lady standing outside their porch overlooking a corn field, her sipping fresh iced tea, and him trying to woo her back. *Let me stop the madness already*
A smooth-operator type transition, I have everything under control is exhibited as he croons his way to Best of Me effortlessly. Basically, this is a song declaring his unconditional love for his ride or die. The bridge is really soul stirring, well at least for me. It has me wanting to find my own piece of chocolate! It’s 4:17 a.m. shops are closed! Dang it!
Nothing On You was a continued story line from Best of Me. He goes on to assure his girl that she has nothing to worry about when he is out on the road. No need for her to be tripping! I wonder, why she was doubtful at firs?! Hmmm….Chocolate Wonder you wanna drop by EY and explain yourself 🙂
Madness and sexy time begins at this point. One Night was so mediocre, it had me wanting to comb out my fro out of frustration. One factor that distinguishes R&B sex songs from other genres is the raw passion and emotion. This song did neither. It just alluded to casual sex, him getting his rocks off courtesy of a beautiful woman and basically thanks and deuces!
It’s All on Me, pissed me off. It was an auto-tuned and oh so boring extension of One Night. Basically, he was going to take her on cliche international trips to show her his world, blah blah blah….definitely not worth a listen.
Too Easy which had Timberland written all over it, (don’t quote me on that) was the lowest point of this album. It definitely would do well in the club circuits, but for an R&B album, I was expecting more.
[Back to R&B roots]
Takeover literally and figuratively takes over the reigns of control in the musical sequence of this album. After, killing me softly with three songs that should not have made the album, in my humble opinion we are re-introduced to the homely vibes that can only be found in R&B. This is a song that shows the importance of communication in a relationship. He just broke up with his main girl because she wants to be single for a while because she doesn’t want to get her heart broke again, of which he understands-as he has been there! Beautiful.
When I say Takeover was the savior, it truly was, because I Miss That Girl is a sweet, bob your head, groovy continuation of how he really feels about the whole “I just wanna do me” situation that has suddenly cropped up.
[Hold up, wait a minute]
The Interlude is hot! Cottamn! Tyrese is on the phone with his first lady and he tells her straight up he wants to fux her. He calls it vaginal activities. His voice is oh so sexy. The mental image that immediately came to mind was apple dipped in caramel to describe his voice. Shit! Yes, he is really giving it his all with this particular number.
Of course, this leads to Make Love. Which evokes images of a smoky jazz cafe with a soft saxophone playing in the background. There is so much ooomph and soul in this song! It succinctly differentiates lovemaking from sex as there’s raw emotion and a need to please one another. No ego on display.
Angel has a soothing element to it. The mood is cool, calm and collected. The heavy bass only serves to reiterate the notion of having found that one angel on earth! I listened to the R-Kelly version, and I ain’t gonna lie he kilts it!
Finally, Tyrese wraps things up by Walking it up on the mic, through a poem dedicated to his fans. A Floetry esque aura emanates from his efforts. He puts you in the mood for lighting incense, sitting in a yoga position and meditating in his appreciation.
This album was decent. It lacked consistency and reminded me of the potholes in a highway. Smooth for a good minute, bumpy the next. However, it is clear that there was effort put into making this album. I’m glad that the chocolate wonder is back, but more perspective is needed next time, in regards to developing a consistent story line. On a scale of 1/10, it got a 6.
Track listing01. I’m Home 02. I Gotta A Chick 03. Stay 04. Best of Me 05. Nothing on You 06. One Night Stand 07. It’s All on Me 08. Too Easy 09. Takeover 10. I Miss That Girl 11. Interlude 12. Make Love 13. Angel 14. Walk ======
(Purchase this album now on iTunes)