Judging by the content on his fourth R&B album, Best Night of My Life, actor-singer-comedian Jamie Foxx has just about run out of luck when it comes to making hit singles. He hit it big with the songs "Unpredictable" in 2005 and "Blame It" in 2009, but Best Night of My Life, released on Dec. 21, 2010, not only doesn't have a hit-worthy song, it also exposes him for what he truly is: an entertainer who dabbles in singing, but whose thin voice and limited vocal skills simply can't carry an entire album unless there's a lot of guest stars and heavy-handed song production.
One of the ways you can sometimes tell if an album is any good before even hearing it is by looking at the track listing. If there's a bunch of guest performers, it could mean that the main artist isn't considered strong enough to carry a full album, and either the artist or their record label has enlisted other singers and rappers to round out the album so people will be more likely to buy it (or at least a song or two). And that's exactly what we've got with Best Night of My Life
. Among the artists featured on various tracks are rappers Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, T.I., Ludacris, Souljah Boy and Drake, as well as another actor-singer, Justin Timberlake. But only some of the collaborations work, such as Drake's melancholy musings on the ballad "Fall for Your Type" and Ludacris' clever rhymes on the otherwise creatively bankrupt "Yep Dat's Me."
On the eight songs where Jamie flies solo, the best of the bunch are "Gorgeous," a mid-tempo ode to feminine beauty; and especially "Sleeping Pill," a sexy track about how good sex can make you feel like you need a long nap. These two songs are good because Jamie stays within his vocal range and doesn't try to do to much. But on uptempo songs like "Winner," featuring Timberlake and T.I., and the album's title track, Jamie's shortcomings are obvious, even with his producers using Auto-Tune and Pro Tools to try hiding them.
So the bottom line is this: Jamie Foxx has a great personality and is a great entertainer, but the man is definitely not a great R&B singer. And never has that been more obvious than on Best Night of My Life.