B.O.B. released a surprise genre-bending album and it’s great.
When B.O.B. came on the scene in 2010 with “Airplanes” and “Nothing on You,” he created a niche for himself as a Top 40 radio friendly rapper. Ever since, there’s been an underlying struggle between letting his pop-rock leaning freak flag fly and jumping into harder hitting rap like the Nicki Minaj assisted “Out of My Mind” or “Headbands” featuring 2 Chainz.
It seems like Bobby Ray found the confidence to release the album he always wanted with ‘Psycadelik Thoughtz.’ The release features everything from his signature precise rapping to guitar filled ballads. Despite the diversity of the album, it feels completely cohesive and intentional. The album reminds me of Andre 3000’s experimental album “The Love Below,” but I think B.O.B. does it better.
There was little promotion for ‘Psycadelik Thoughtz’, instead B.O.B let his fans know on Wednesday he’d be releasing new music on Friday.
— B.o.B (@bobatl) August 12, 2015
To accompany the album, he released a lyric video for the album’s first single “Back and Forth.” Of the eleven tracks, “Back and Forth” is the most pop radio friendly, sounding a bit like every Black Eyed Peas song mixed together. I don’t think it represents the creativity of the rest of the album, but it will without a doubt gain airplay over the coming weeks on pop radio. Smart move.
The three standout tracks also happen to be the album’s slowest: “Plain Jane,” “Violet Vibrato,” and “Love Life” featuring his girlfriend Sevyn Streeter. My personal favorite is “Violet Vibrato” where he shows off his voice, sounding at times like Chris Martin and John Legend.
In an age where some artists are making it harder to listen to their music through exclusive
Tidal releases, B.O.B put the entire album on YouTube and Spotify to stream for free in addition to an iTunes release. As a fan, I appreciate his approach and fearlessness in trying a new sound. I’m excited to see where he goes next.
What do you think of B.O.B’s new sound?