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Album Review: "Tomi"

Sensual & Seductive

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Album Review:

Album cover © Rosehip Records.

Straight out of the "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover" department comes European singer-songwriter-musician Tomi (it's pronounced Tow-me. Although he looks like he could be an electronica or rock musician, Tomi is a straight-up R&B artist through-and-through. And not just an R&B artist, but an extremely smooth-singing one, specializing in sensual and seductive songs. Tomi's self-titled debut album is probably the most pleasantly surprising R&B releases of the year. It's a very strong collection of bedroom music that can be listened to repeatedly without quickly wearing out its welcome.

Sexy, Laid Back

If seducing a woman is an art form, then Tomi is a master of the craft. Most of the material on his self-titled debut album is dedicated to seduction, starting with the opening song/lead single, "You Can Tell Me," where he sings:
"I'd like to know what I need to do, how to behave, oh and how to please you/Ohhhhhhh c'mon, Let me feel those hips/You can tell me what you want me to do, if you want me to bring the freak outta you/It's on you, I'll put my ego aside, whatever you wish, I ain't got no pride."

Tomi can't really be compared stylistically to most R&B singers, but one of his songs, "All I Wanna Do," sounds a little like something Michael Jackson would have recorded during his Off The Wall (pre-Thriller) days and "Let Me Have Your Body," is slightly reminiscent of R. Kelly's "Your Body's Callin'." And also like Kellz, Tomi lives in Chicago and seems almost obsessed with women and lovemaking, as evident by such songs as "Superhot," "So Much Sex" and "Baby Where U At." But where some artists come on too strong sometimes, Tomi plays the sensitive male role and come across more as charming and sincere than anything else.

But although the sexy, laid-back tone of Tomi is cool, there's one problem: it's too long. Although there's only 14 songs, eight are over five minutes long and the album clocks in at over an hour and 11 minutes long. Two of three songs on the album's second half could - and maybe should - have been left off the album. It's a simple case of too much of a good thing.

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