Grammy and Oscar award winning artist Jamie Foxx has returned to the music scene with his new album, Hollywood: A Story Of A Dozen Roses. It’s been a massive five years coming, but a focus on acting had put the star’s music career on hold. He’s amazingly good at both so with Foxx you get the best of both worlds. It will be interesting to see where he has gone with this one: maybe we can expect some neat collaborations and mint production.
A short introduction leads into the single You Changed Me featuring Chris Brown: the pair serenade the girl who changed their life around over an edgy RnB beat. It’s a little cliche to say the least but not a bad track at all. Like A Drum is a sexual drag of a song and sounds like background music: it seems to go on for too long and is overly repetitive. Another Dose needs a larger dose of appeal. It doesn’t lift the album as highly as needed right at this moment. Even the collaboration with Pharrell on Tease fell a little short; the arrangement for current single Baby’s In Love almost rips off Tease, but on the plus side it’s more appealing to the ear and Kid Ink’s contribution works well.
The dim Text Message is redeemed by the snappy beat of Hollywood, while tracks such as Vegas Confessions and Socialite rely on overused concepts and clichés: we need something fresh here. Piano ballad In Love By Now takes the spotlight, this is the heartfelt piece we’ve needed to hear from the beginning. Jumping Out The Window, also led by piano, is similarly an album highlight; Fabolous gets the ball rolling for the smooth RnB laden On The Dot. It’s a little rough on the edges at times but still a bit enjoyable. Right Now takes the wheel and turns out to be another dull sex song; Pretty Thing samples a line from Michael Jackson’s 1982 track P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing). Though it catches you off guard it surprisingly works well. Ain’t My Fault could have been a promising end to the album: it’s catchy but lyrically it falls short focusing on the girl who stole his heart because of the dress she wore.
Hollywood: The Story Of A Dozen Roses wouldn’t be best described as a solid musical return for Jamie Foxx, overshadowed perhaps by his mesmerising acting career. The album can be quite repetitive and at times it sounds bland; for just under half of the album, not including intervals, to be from a little-to-overly enjoyable (Baby’s In Love, Hollywood, In Love By Now, Jumping Out The Window, On The Dot, Pretty Thing) is a bit of a let down. Jamie Foxx has got the voice and the talent, nobody in the world can deny that fact as we’ve all seen him in action, but Hollywood doesn’t stand out like he normally does and that’s unfortunate.