7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Just call him "TY.O" to buy his new CD...,
This review is from: TY.O (Audio CD)
Born english but of nigerian and brazilian descent, Taio Cruz not only writes and produces hits for other people as one of the new leaders of the electro/R&B fusion pop of today, but he is a superstar singer too and he has just released his brand new (and third) album TY.O, that sounds like a Best Of of the recordings he could have been making in the studios in the last past months.
After a first album in 2008 that only had moderate success, Departure, Taio Cruz really reached stardom with his second CD release in 2009, Rokstarr, after his single Break your heart hit the charts all over the globe. He succeeded in following it with further singles off the album, Dirty picture with Ke$ha, Higher, re-recorded in a duet version with Kylie Minogue (and/or rapper Travie McCoy too), or Dynamite, added to a re-release of the CD. He collaborated more with other artists such as John Reid for his Nightcrawlers' comeback single Cryin' over you, or Second chance with rapper Tinchy Stryder and most recently Little bad girl with David Guetta. He co-wrote for the french DJ the amazing Without you that got recorded with Usher and gave him the superhit of the Nothing but the beat era too.
But now has come the time for a new album of his own and it does sound like a masterpiece, even though with only 11 tracks, it falls too short on my shore, I must admit... TY.O, as it called so that people know how to pronounce his name, starts with his latest single, Hangover and like most of his recent hits, features another artist on it, Flo-Rida on rap this time. Taio Cruz must like to collaborate and his work in studio reflects this too. This perfect electro/R&B anthem has been co-wriiten with producers Dr. Luke & Cirkut, famous for recent Katy Perry, Britney Spears or Ke$ha hitsingles. You must know that song's chorus by heart as it is still playlisted on every french FM radio... It goes "I got a hangover, I been drinking too much for sure. I got a hangover, I got an empty cup, pour me some more..."
Troublemaker follows and it is his new single, co-written and co-produced with swedish electro magicians Steve Angello, Carl Falk & Rami Yacoub. I think the verses are less addictive than some of his previous songs, being in a very low key, in a guttural voice and monotonious, but when comes the chorus "I throw my hands up if you believe in me now..." and the following sing-along hands in the air chants, you can't help but fall under its spell. It can suffer that the title word is not included in the chorus but in the pre-chorus, although it is repeted enough so that people picture this as Troublemaker maybe.
Next song There she goes (not a cover version of The LA's...) brings back the best and another collaboration with Pitbull featuring on a rap. This time, Taio Cruz co-wrote it with RedOne and his crew, on production duties too, and it is the next single to be released. It has a strong chorus and once again a feelgood OOh Oh OOh Oh tribal chant that reminds me of some Ke$ha hits and gives the song an instant recognizable and universal appeal.
Shotcaller is another Steve Angello collaboration, this time with fellow swedish friends Sebastien Ingrosso & Klas Ahlund, and it doesn't sound too dissimilar to David Guetta's previous work with Taio. It has the same raw electro vibe on the intro and verses, except when comes the chorus, we're back in pure light pop territory, and the And when I say jump, you say how high" line reminds me very much of Debbie Gibson's hit We could be together where the chorus started with these words : If you said Jump! I'd say how high? if you said Run!, I'd run and fly...". Born in 1983, Taio Cruz was only 5 years old when We could be together's mother album Electric youth was released so I guess it may just be universal inspiration... ?
On Make it last forever, Taio works back with Dr. Luke for an even more pop/rock inspired song that could have been recorded by Britney or Ke$ha on their forthcoming album I think. It has been produced with electro arrangements but the song's structure is very pop, back with another Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh onomatopoiea that gives to it a feelgood vibe.
World in our hands sees Taio Cruz work with Carl Falk & Rami again and even though I like it and its uplifting chorus, it has got another Oh Oh Oh chant and I feel that the same formula is overused on nearly every song on the album, track after track... It is a shame because the song would have been good without it, and is good with it too, except on a tracklisting of several songs listened to one after one, it does sound too similar... World in our hands' singalong chant sounds exactly the same as Britney's Till the world ends' one too. Without this similarity, I would have guessed this one could have been chosen as a further single...
Dr. Luke's back on Tattoo but this time it's an all electro/pop fiesta where Taio's verses sound rap-inspired to me and kinda bore me a little ; this one is just an album track to my ears... it lacks the single appeal all the previous songs on the CD had. A crazy distorted electro breakdown takes the track further into unappealing territory and nearly makes me skip to the next track...
Play is an uplifting electro repetitive but addictive piece of club inspiration Taio Cruz wrote and produced with australian Pendulum frontman Rob Swire. It sounds good and anthemic, once again with a nice singalong chant that goes Eh eh eh this time to match the Play chorus line. At 3'15, I must admit I feel like having to press the REPEAT button, and not the PLAY like the songs tells... LOL.
The end of the CD already cast its shadow and the tempo's slowing down for You're beautiful, a -really beautiful- midtempo ballad that Taio wrote and produced with Jason Gilbert, who apparently has worked with Eminem. Without any autotune effect or electro loop, the song could easily be chosen as a single to bring a change of pace in the singles release from Taio Cruz and let people see the tender and romantic side of him. It could be re-recorded as a duet with some female artist too (I'd see Jessie J perfect in that place). I feel like It is the kind of song I will never get enough of, listening to it on my iPod sunbathing on the beach or anywhere. Once again, it is just too short and need a Repeat...
Next track Telling the word is another calmer midtempo song that was the main theme of the 2010 animated film Rio but that has been re-recorded for inclusion on this new album, although it was featured on the Rokstarr second re-release too. It is a nice song but not one that really appeals to me : no dance beats, tribal chants and Disney-like overall mood, I feel it out of place here...
It is all the more stranger to me than the next and last track is Taio's hitsingle with David Guetta Little bad girl (that features Ludacris on a rap too). No need to spend a lifetime to present this one : it has been overplayed on every radio all over the world as first lead single from our french DJ's latest album ; it had it all : the beats, the electro sounds, the autotuned vocals, a Daft Punk inspired loop, a lil' bit of crazy rap to appeal to the R&B crowd too ...and a killer rhythm & repetitive chorusline too. It would have been good to have more Guetta produced tracks on this album, wouldn't it?
my full comment on my blog :[...]