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Review: Bobby Valentino - "Special Occasion"

Rising to the 'Occasion'?

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating


Review: Bobby Valentino -

Album cover © DTP/Def Jam.

Bobby Valentino, the pretty-boy heartthrob who makes the ladies swoon, may be big on looks and charm, but when it comes to singing, his vocals leave a lot - a lot - to be desired. Despite hot song production by Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and other big names, the album can't hide the fact that Bobby V. is a mediocre singer at best. Special Occasion is full of tight beats, but garbage vocals and anyone expecting this album to propel Bobby into the same league as Usher - or even the level of a Marques Houston - is going to be sadly mistaken. When it comes to vocals, this is one of the lamest R&B albums of 2007.

A Lack of Talent

It took a long time to get Special Occasion released. Bobby Valentino's second album had been pushed back numerous times after songs released as sort-of trial balloons didn't catch fire with the public. But thanks to the semi-hit "Anonymous," which was produced by Timbaland, Bobby managed to get back in the game.

He should have stayed out.

"Anonymous" is typical of the album as a whole: it's got a catchy beat and decent lyrics. But the package as a whole is fatally undone by Valentino's lack of true talent and his flat, amateurish vocals, which make him seem like an ebony version of former American Idol hopeful Sanjaya Malakar.

So what's wrong with his singing? Well, to be specific, dude can't carry a tune to save his life. And his range is extremely limited. AND he has a very uninteresting and forgettable vocal style. And to make matters worse, he punishes us by making this album a full hour and 10 minutes long, and doesn't even have the decency to throw in a lot of guest performers to distract people from his weak, sometimes off-key, vocals.

Of the album's 16 tracks, there are just three guest appearances: in addition to Timbaland appearing on "Anonymous," Ludacris (just barely) appears on "Rearview" and Fabolous drops some tight rhymes on "Let Him Go." Two or three fewer songs and two or three more guest appearances definitely wouldn't have hurt the album.

And so the bottom line is this: unless you find yourself swayed by sex appeal and other things that have nothing to do with singing, then the nonsense on Special Occasion probably isn't for you.

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