Bobby Valentino

Studio Album by released in 2005
Bobby Valentino's tracklist:
Some Bobby
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Slow Down
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Give Me A Chance
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Never Lonely
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Mista Valentino
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Tell Me
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My Angel (Never Leave You)
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Want You To Know Me
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Gangsta Love
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Come Touch Me
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I'll Forgive You (Interlude)
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I'll Forgive You
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Love Dream
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Lights Down Low
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One Girl To Love
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Thank You Lord
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Slow Down (Remix)
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Bobby Valentino review

It's been a while since a young male R&B crooner has made an impact on the music scene. Discounting Usher, there hasn't been someone who makes you want to listen to him. It seems like the young R&B singers - although, you could say this for the genre as a whole - either want to be irrepressible lovermen or thuggish gentlemen. Like Usher, Valentino (whose real surname is Wilson) presents himself as a sex symbol. His last name evokes Valentine's Day and the old-time star of romantic movies. Pan flutes, atmospheric interludes, and French women cooing sweet nothings flesh out his debut album, that's 99.9 percent "for the ladies," save an appearance from Ludacris, who made Valentino the first R&B singer in the rapper's DTP (Disturbing tha Peace) crew. There's a lot to like on this debut, the over-the-top attempt to insinuate himself into the fantasies of the opposite sex especially.

It's easy to imagine Bobby Valentino stretched out on a crimson, crushed-velvet couch as he delivered his self-titled debut. This pillow-talky album must have been recorded with candles filling the recording studio, but you can bet there was the faint smell of patchouli too. The song titles – shameless to a one – say it all: Lights Down Low, Come Touch Me, One Girl To Love. Subject matter aside, Valentino busts out a swoony vocal gift that, if not the stuff of legends, should serve him well on the R&B charts: shades of Stevie Wonder swim through I'll Forgive You, a Winans influence wanders in on Love Dream, and an old-school Coolio-style rap raises an edge around Give Me A Chance.

Outside this decent Ludacris appearance, he has no guest rap appearances that usually taint most contemporary R&B records. It's something that's greatly welcomed on an R&B album these days. Valentino's Babyface-like voice is above average without a theatrical edge but with a charismatic street swagger and just the right touch of humble joy. Valentino shows some potential on his debut album. If he can vary his subject matter (this disc is strictly for the ladies) and avoid making songs like the cliche-infested Gangsta Love, then he should have a productive musical career. As for now, he has the tools to succeed – a regularly enjoyable voice, beautiful production behind him, a connection to Dirty South's capital, and the backing of several influential people. It's ultimately up to him if he succeeds or joins the increasingly crowded pool of one-and-done artists.

(02.09.2005)
Rate review4.41
Total votes - 511