B.o.B, "B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray"

Album Review

Weaving together hip-hop, rock influences and futuristic sounds, Atlanta newcomer B.o.B addresses beautiful girls, ambition and all things sci-fi on his vibrant guest-heavy debut album, "B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray." The opening track, "Don't Let Me Fall," showcases the rapper's smoothed-voice singing talent and vulnerability ("They say what goes up must come down/But don't let me fall") over a booming guitar, while "Magic" (featuring Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo) takes a more pop-driven direction. In contrast, on the aggressive "Bet I" (featuring T.I. and Playboy Tre), B.o.B exhibits rawer vocals with a Southern flavor, and standout "Airplanes, Part II" (featuring Paramore's Hayley Williams and Eminem) touches on the rapper's hopes and drive for success. But the set's most dynamic song is "5th Dimension," which finds Ricco Barrino belting in Motown fashion. On the track, B.o.B channels his inner Lil Wayne circa "Phone Home": "They try to hold me down/But man it's me they can't contain," he raps.


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