For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Second Listen Sunday: Jamie Foxx, Best Night Of My Life
Multi-faceted entertainer Jamie Foxx had already achieved numerous successes across many entertainment avenues when his fourth album, Best Night of My Life, hit stores in the winter of 2010. Foxx’s previous album featured “Blame It,” the biggest hit of his career. While by no means the best song in Foxx’s catalog, the track did expand his fan base musically.
Foxx opens up his fourth project with the soulful intro “This Will Be,” a play cover of Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) .”Foxx then hits the listeners with three of the album’s singles. First is the Wiz Khalifa-assisted “Best Night Of My Life,” which has a nice grown-man vibe. Next, Foxx samples the legendary “Frank White” for Living Better Now and allows Rick Ross to drop a hot 16.
Finally, there’s “Winner,” where he gets features from Justin Timberlake, and T.I. Sports fans may remember hearing this track during the 2010 NBA Playoffs when it was the official theme song of the series. Typically novelty songs don’t hold up well, but twelve years later, I feel that “Winner” held up as the track still gets me hype.
Listeners are then subjected to the mediocre album tracks “Freak,” “Hit It Like This,” and “Yep Dat’s Me,” which all find Jamie Foxx trying to reclaim his youth. Thankfully Jamie picks things up with the Drake-written and assisted “Fall For Your Type.” Noah “40” Shebib produced the song with vocal production by Rico Love. Drake originally recorded the song for his debut studio album, Thank Me Later.
However, Foxx never tries to imitate Drake on the song, instead allowing his signature vocals to come through on the record. Foxx stays in the R&B field for the following few tracks. “Gorgeous” is a decent pillow talk set up for the bedroom records “Let Me Get You On Your Toes,” “15 Minutes,” and “Sleeping Pill.”
While Foxx never reaches the heights of the bedroom bangers from his sophomore album with the songs mentioned above, the tracks are decent slow jams. Unfortunately, after “Sleeping Pill,” Foxx tries to keep up with trends and fails. “Rejoice” is an overly safe ballad that didn’t need the auto-tune.
While “All Said And Done,” and the album’s closer’s “Sex On The Beach” are some of the worst songs in Foxx’s catalog. On the one hand, I get what Foxx was going for trying to appease fans of “Blame It,” but at the age of 43, it just doesn’t work this time around.
As music trends often change, I’ve never expected Foxx to reach the heights of his first two solo albums. However, an artist of Foxx’s talent didn’t need to release a project with this much filler. Fifteen tracks was a bit much. The results might have been better if Foxx had cut his fourth album down to ten songs.
Final Grade: C
Best Night of My Life is available on all streaming platforms
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.