Music Review: B.o.B’s “Strange Clouds”

Strange CloudsRelease Date: May 1, 2012

Label: Atlantic Records

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Prepare to bob your head, rock out, stop and think, then bob your head again. “Strange Clouds” encompasses the most brilliant production a rap album has delivered all year. Are you convinced yet? Well, get to your nearest music store or visit a digital one and get a copy of this album, not some selective tracks but the entire thing cause you’ll definitely miss out if you pass on “Strange Clouds,” B.o.B‘s magnificent follow-up to his just as impressive 2010 debut. 

Aside from some very diverse musical appearances from Taylor Swift, Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown, T.I., Ryan Tedder, Nicki Minaj to Trey Songz, each song signifies how versatile B.o.B himself truly is as an artist. Creativity is certainly not lacking in his music.

Bombs Away” takes us off and into the party mood. The track’s a mix between hip hop & rock elements, as are most of the songs on the album but each separates itself in terms of purpose. The hook on this track is catchy, smooth, and hypnotic. I see this being the perfect single.

Ray Bands” is all for the ladies. B.o.B. makes reference to girls wanting to experience the fancy lifestyle; it’s succeeded in delivery but I’m reminded of T-Pain too much on this one.  

The most rockiest track on the album would have to be “So Hard To Breath.” At this point I’m confused as to whether I’m listening to B.o.B or some alternative rock artist, which is great. This song works for me and satisfies my unlimited interest in music. The lyrical content is substantial and crafty in every way possible.

I never thought I’d ever mention the name Taylor Swift on this site but wow, she sounded good on “Both of Us.The track is about holing on to the people who truly have supported you throughout life and doing all you can to lift them up in every way possible. You could interpret the words in the form of friendship, love, or family.

I believe you all know by now how much I love the title track and first single “Strange Clouds.” It’s a party track that never gets tiring. I’m rather speechless in trying to describe how much this song rocks me. Lil Wayne on the other hand, will always be Lil Wayne, absolutely crazy.

So Good” is about a enjoying a fun and well-committed relationship. When you’ve gotten to a point in your life where all you want to do is chill out and relax on some exotic beach with the one you love, there’s not more beautiful than that. I like how the artist takes on several different topics on the album. His concept is beyond perfect.

Play For Keeps” is just deep. Need I say more.

Chris Brown & T.I. on any track together is bound to be great. “Arena” turned out to be my absolute favorite song on the album because of everything it symbolized. Nicki Minaj on the other hand, is bound to cause some chaos on your track. Her otherworldly persona is quite amusing when balanced, luckily it was well organized on “Out of My Mind“; a title that fits her character. Still, doesn’t the beat and melody remind you a bit of Drake’s “Proud of You.” 

I love Ryan Tedder’s work on anything he touches. The dude is a genius. Anyways, “Never Let You Go” is a hip, groovy, and sensible track picking up the pace on the record. The message is also quite interesting. It’s about not letting fame get to the mind and always keeping the one you love close to you no matter what. 

Who’s Lauriana Mae? Regardless of my unknowing, she’s very talented and in my opinion, this beautiful singer brought “Chandelier” to life with her indie vibe. 

Circles” went down the pop and rock route. It’s a fun track you can flow along with, but I’d have to say this is my least favorite. Still, it’s something you just can’t help but listen to. Sounds like a soundtrack for summer. 

I repeat a previous question for yet another artist, who is Playboy Tre? Whoever this artist is, “Just A Sign” is hot and the hook is blazing. You need to play this one loud through the speakers if you’re going to get the full effect of how electrifying the bass is. I’m hearing another single alert! 

Trey Songz isn’t winning me over these days. I guess I got all sexed out from his music. Thankfully he did a good job on “Castles.” His voice reverberates on this one. 

The album concludes in B.o.B. something to think about style. I like the concept of “Where Are You“, making reference to how he was once mentioned as a “breath of fresh air” in music, and now he seemed to have “changed.” I don’t think the artist has changed one bit, the word for this is evolved. The man has evolved into a far better artist than he was at his debut, which in my opinion is exceptional. 

I haven’t heard music like this in so long, thanks the generic shit in mainstream today, but “Strange Clouds” is an album I’ll keep on repeat from now until whenever. I know I’m late, but at least I wasn’t sleeping on good music like the rest. 

Ratings: 5/5


Track listing:

01. Bombs Away (ft. Morgan Freeman)
02. Ray Bands
03. So Hard To Breathe
04. Both of Us (ft. Taylor Swift)
05. Strange Clouds (ft. Lil Wayne)
06. So Good
07. Play for Keeps
08. Arena (ft. Chris Brown & T.I.)
09. Out of My Mind (ft. Nicki Minaj)
10. Never Let You Go (ft. Ryan Tedder)
11. Chandelier (ft. Lauriana Mae)
12. Circles
13. Just A Sign (ft. Playboy Tre)
14. Castles (ft. Trey Songz)
15. Where Are You (B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray)


One thought on “Music Review: B.o.B’s “Strange Clouds”

  1. I listened to the album in a music store the week it came out, i barely do that these days but felt compelled to listen to this one cause i liked his first. It’s not as in depth as his debut but just as entertaining. I’d give it a 4 instead of a full 5 rating…Great review though!

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