Five years after releasing his previous studio album Best Night of My Life, Jamie Foxx is back at topping the charts.
After taking a lengthy break from the music game to focus on acting, Foxx has released his fifth studio album, Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses, which hit number one on Billboard.com’s R&B charts within two weeks of its release.
Foxx describes it as a swansong of Hollywood, based on the emotion of the city and relationships that come and go (it’s also based on one of his actual relationships).
The multi-talented singer flexes his musical versatility on the album, to mixed results – he sounds stiff in some areas. But, after half a decade off the job, any 47-year-old is bound to build up some rust.
By incorporating the likes of what’s popular today, Foxx manages to teach us his old, classy tricks with his new, relevant dogs. It’s traditional R&B with a hint of modern freshness.
That said his age doesn’t seem to affect the feeling of youthfulness on the album. Production by Pharrell and Boi-1da, along with guest appearances from Chris Brown and Wale keep Foxx’s sound relevant throughout the project.
It’s clear the one thing that hasn’t aged is Foxx’s themes and lyrics. Consistent throughout, the tracks all use neatly arranged hooks that seem to suit the production.
Not a single song oversteps its boundaries as R&B, yet all are intriguing enough to stay sensual individually. Smooth backbeats allow Foxx and his featured guests to take the spotlight – albeit a dimly lit one.
Standout songs like “Tease” make it obvious someone else had a heavy hand in the production (hint: Pharrell) – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. By incorporating the likes of what’s popular today, Foxx manages to teach us his old, classy tricks with his new, relevant dogs. It’s traditional R&B with a hint of modern freshness.
Overall, it’s a hit and miss album with more hits than misses. Foxx proves his style and swag haven’t washed off with age.
Tracks like the aforementioned “Tease”, as well as “Baby’s In Love”, highlight Foxx’s ability to successfully incorporate different musical genres into hit singles.
But not all songs keep that composure. Some songs just don’t shine through.
“Another Dose” is a sore spot among outstanding tracks and has listeners wanting more, but not in a good way. The tone is brought down too far for Foxx to salvage and the quiet rhythm makes him stick out like a sore thumb.
Other songs that use the same simplistic tone prove to be problematic for the actor-singer, like “Vegas Confessions”. Softer songs typically rely on trials, tribulations and revelations, but this just grazes the surface of soul behind R&B lyrics.
Overall, it’s a hit and miss album with more hits than misses. Foxx proves his style and swag haven’t washed off with age. Most songs have replay value with a few cut-and-paste tracks dispersed between. Not all of this compilation is jaw dropping, but if anything, it’s a reminder that Jamie Foxx is still talented enough to top the charts with his side hustle.