Grammy-nominated R&B crooner Tank serves the first R&B album release of 2016 with Sex, Love & Pain II.

 

After Stronger, which to me was like the best album ever, Tank announced his retirement. The soldier of R&B was tired of consistently staying modern R&B’s best kept secret. However it didn’t even take a year ’til the second T in TGT, decided to pick back up his mic with the controversial If You Were Mine EP, you being the success of white people doing soulful music. The collection of tankified blue-eyed-soul songs did, just that, tank. His strategy did not work. So after doing Disco and inspirational R&B on Stronger, and soulful sophisti-pop on If You Were Mine, Durrell Babbs started from scratch and revisited his most and unfortunately only crossover era Sex, Love & Pain, which very much so echoed R. Kelly‘s R&B thug template.

 

Unlike some really dreadful and unnecessary musical sequels like Mary’s My Life II or Justin’s The 20/20 Experience Vol. 2, Tank again follows in the footsteps of Kelly and delivers a pretty solid sequel, that can actually sorta, kinda live up to its original.

 

 

The 40-year old’s latest music offering is a really well-crafted CD, and even though on the intro “SLP2” I do feel kind of cheated out of the multipart dramatic “sex love and paiiiin” chant from the first installment’s introduction, his level of comfortability within the world of sex, love and pain, indubitably shows.

 

All the songs seem very effortless and natural. II doesn’t want to change the world or leave any significant impression, it simply wants to entertain, it wants you to have good sex, move your body and meet new people. II is a strong believer of “It it ain’t broke, why fix it.” Tank makes sure the melodies he is presenting you are not by any form or fashion to hard to digest. While Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” melody is a heavy element of familiarity on ‘#BDAY‘, a Mustard-like club record featuring an allstar-cast of birthday crooners of Chris Brown, his protegée Siya, of Sisterhood of Hip Hop, and Sage The Gemini. The album’s lead single “You Don’t Know,” featuring rapper Wale, is basically a revamped cover of Patti LaBelle’s “If Only You Knew,” and for the for the slow jam “Already In Love,” he teamed up with none other than actual Boyz II Men member Shawn Stockman, for that extra nostalgia effect.

 

The formula works, the album is very pleasant to the ear and easy to get. An obvious highlight of the love-making album is “I Love Ya,” the urban and more vocally gifted step-brother of Jennifer Lopez “I Luh Ya Papi.” Where his previous albums literally stood in front of you on bended knee begging and pleading for attention and acknowledgement, deservingly so, serenading you with ever so beautiful piano instrumentation and heart-wrenching vocals, this album is more like “take it or leave it.” Tank certainly did not re-invent the wheel with this project, he arguably in fact did regress creatively from his last full length album Stronger, but in many ways he seems to have re-established his silent confidence and understanding that there is nothing wrong with doing what’s expected, going with the current flow and doing that well. This is essentially a Trey Songz album with much better vocals.

 

Stream the album below and pick it up on iTunes now!

 

 

 

 

 

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