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Sean Garrett - 'Turbo 919'

Hitless & Witless

About.com Rating 1.5 Star Rating


Sean Garrett - 'Turbo 919'
Image © Interscope / Bet I Penned It Music.
With his debut album, Turbo 919 (released in the U.S. on June 24, 2008), songwriter-producer Sean "The Pen" Garrett is trying to follow in the footsteps of other behind-the-scenes music industry people who've managed to step into the spotlight like Kanye West, Ne-Yo and The-Dream. But unlike Ne-Yo and Dream, Sean Garrett is nowhere near as good of a singer as he is a songwriter. He may have been partially responsible for such hits as Usher's "Yeah!," Ciara's "Goodies" and Chris Brown's "Run It!," but Turbo 919 is a hit-less, witless mess that's a strong contender for worst album of the year.

Deep Doo-Doo

As evidenced by the album cover, Garrett tried to cast himself as a James Bond-type with this album and the grandiose nature of the piano-fueled, dramatic opening track, "Deep Deep Intro," gives false hope that this will be a cinematic, sweeping, suspenseful album. But the next track, the club banger "What You Doin' With That" exemplifies what the album truly is: dumbed-down, sexed up tracks full of throwaway songs with vocals so poor that it's downright embarrassing.

The song topics on the album are confined to three things: sex, lovemaking and screwing. And there's nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but Garrett doesn't bring anything new to the table vocally, perspective-wise or lyrically to separate himself from the rest of the R&B herd. And not helping matters at all are guest appearances by usual suspects like Akon (on "Come On In"), Lil' Wayne ("Girlfriend Ringtone"), and Ludacris (on the horribly tacky first single "Grippin' on the Bed"). Despite the guests and the various producers (Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and Garrett himself included), the bad, Michael Jackson-wannabe vocals sink the album. People sometimes complain about Ne-Yo's borrowing of some of Michael Jackson's vocal stylings, but Garrett is far worse because his swagger-jacking comes across not as a tribute, but outright style theft. This might be forgivable if he actually sang well, but his high-pitched attempts at sexy crooning sound incredibly sophomoric.

Hopefully after this album Sean Garrett will stick to life behind the scenes: it's obvious now that that's where he belongs.

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