R&B fans were elated this past summer when R&B legend Raphael Saadiq announced he had reunited with Tony! Toni! Toné! for a fall tour. The tour kicked off this past Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama, with twenty-five planned stops. I plan on attending the Oxon Hill, MD, stop this coming Monday.
Second Listen Sunday : Pleasure P, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper
No matter the music genre, a standout star is always when a group breaks into the scene. R&B fans were introduced to R&B thugs Pretty Ricky in 2005 with their debut album Bluestars. Three singles supported the album: “Grind with Me,” “Your Body,” and “Nothing but a Number. The group was a vocalist, Marcus (Pleasure P) Cooper quartet. The group’s main singer was Pleasure P, while the other three members performed as rappers.
Lyrically, the rappers in the group were suitable for club music, but Pleasure P was destined for solo stardom. Following his departure from the group in 2007 after their second album, Pleasure P began working on his solo debut, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper, which is this week’s pick for Second Listen Sunday.
He decided to go with a ballad for the album’s first single. Linking up with songwriters Rex Zamor (who also produced the track) and Noble Prince Hart, P delivered the apologetic “Did You Wrong.” One of the hardest things for a man to do is apologize to his lady, and with this lead single, Pleasure was able to kick off his transition into a solo artist as the young showcased his vocal abilities and musical style of an old soul.
“Boyfriend#2” was the album’s second single, which featured a writing credit for the singer and production from Rico Love. Pleasure taps into a situation ship vibe here, but the singer never comes across as corny or crass. For the album’s final single, P linked up with R&B lothario Tank to deliver the bedroom banger “Under,” which earned him two Grammy nominations in 2010.
The remainder of the album” is a polished mix of mid-tempo and slow jams that create a cohesive and enjoyable listening experience. The late great Static Major shows out with his pen game on “Fire Lovin” and “Illusion,” while “Your Love” is a playful homage to the Cheryl Lynn bop “Encore.”
From a production standpoint, the instrumentals provide a lush backdrop for Pleasure P’s vocals, incorporating elements of contemporary R&B and occasional hip-hop influences. The beats are often catchy and groove-driven, adding to the album’s overall appeal.
R&B was beginning to shift in 2009, so from a sales point I always felt that The Introduction of Marcus Cooper didn’t do what it should have. However, Pleasure P’s debut album did succeed by introducing him as a viable solo artist with a distinct style from Pretty Ricky and genuine vocal talent.
Final Grade: B+
The Introduction of Marcus Cooper is available on all streaming platforms.
Pleasure P recently started his special guest slot on Ne-Yo’s “Champagne & Roses Tour.” The tour will visit significant cities nationwide before ending on October 4th. Check LiveNation.com and Ticketmaster.com to see if the tour is coming to your area.
More reviews to explorer
The year was 1981, and a music legend in the making, Prince was slowly crafting his musical royalty legacy. Before releasing his fourth album, Controversy, Prince introduced the band The Time to the world with their self-titled debut album.
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