Review: TGT, ‘Three Kings’


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TGT Deliver An Enjoyable, Sensually-Charged, Grown Folks R&B Album 

TGT⎪Three Kings⎪Atlantic ⎪⎪ US Release Date: August 20, 2013

2012 BET Awards - ArrivalsHad any one of Tyrese, Ginuwine, or Tank released a solo album this year by themself, that would’ve been a treat in itself.  Instead, the three sensual-minded lover men release their debut as TGT, bringing all their suave bedroom talk (and moves) together for the enjoyable Three Kings.   Three Kings is a solid adult contemporary R&B effort that is by no means the second coming, but finds all three of these standout solo artists in top-notch form, specifically exceptional voice.

Take It Wrong” initiates solidly with strong production work characterized by lush adult contemporary R&B cues.  The verses are a bit gimmicky with it use of repetition, but not agonizingly so as say ‘modern pop gimmickry’.  The vocals soar brilliantly on the refrain: “I hope that you don’t take it wrong / when I say I’m bout the usual / girl I’m tryna make you comfortable / I hope that you don’t take it wrong…” Black Ty’s (aka a rapping Tyrese) verse is explicit and so-so (remember that album Alter Ego?), but doesn’t ruin the pros of the cut (“I can hit it all night if you say so / we can do it in the bed, on the floor / in the bathroom robe ‘cause tonight anything goes / and I f**k for free”).  “No Fun” proceeds, featuring rapper Problem who is more overt than subtle (“If Problem gave a f**k about a b**ch / I’d always be broke / and I’m married to the money, I’ll admit we eloped…”) The cut itself has its moments and positive attributes, but feels as if it is missing that extra piece.

Tyrese Gibson-20130702-85Sex Never Felt Better” as well as the brilliant “I Need” serve as atonement, with both being nothing short of capable juggernauts.  “Sex Never Felt Better” is right up the R&B singers’ alley, filled with plenty of love-inciting moments such as “…Bring it over here, turn your phone off / leave them heels on, take your clothes off / don’t wanna see no one else, girl I’m all yours tonight, tonight…” (pre-chorus) or “Sex ain’t never felt better / I wanna swim in it all night / girl your body belongs to me / belongs to me…” (chorus).  On the more emotional, gentlemanly “I Need”, TGT slaughter the chorus: “Now I know / it ain’t ever worth your heart / and it ain’t ever worth your tears / and it ain’t ever worth those scars that might not heal / I need, I need, I need (you)…”)  Good stuff for sure.  Throw in another solid moment with “Next Time Around” (“I know right now it’s over / but I’ll be ready for next time”), and Three Kings seems to be on the ‘up and up’.

A sensual-interlude (simply titled “Interlude”), sets up “Hurry”, in which TGT are more than eager for, well you know: “Girl I’ve been waiting long / all this time and you know / I don’t wanna go / I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna go slow / girl, I want you in a hurry / take down in a hurry / on me in a hurry…” Fast, energetic loving it seems.  As if love in a ‘hurry’ weren’t enough, There’s something about “Weekend Love” that truly appeals to TGT: “…It’s just something about that Friday, Saturday, Sunday love / I just can’t wait for that next weekend to come”.  Ultimately, “Weekend Love” isn’t incredibly different Tank-ZNV-000301from other, similarly conceived love songs, but it’s enjoyable and nothing too shabby.   Similarly, “Lessons In Love” continues finding TGT schooling their boos (“…I swear every time that we touch / I’m giving you this lesson in love”) and while it’s titillating, it’s also a predictable script.

Another interlude precedes the momentum rebuilding “Explode”, which is incredibly lush, sensual, and seductive in sound.  What is fine about this cut is that Tank, Ginuwine, and Tyrese all receive ample chances to shine on their respective verse.  Sure, “Explode” is another sexual allusion, but at least is a good one.  My favorite line comes courtesy of Tyrese: “Look at us, about to kaboom / in this room like it’s Independence Day”.  Women are swooning over that, I promise. LOL.

FYH” isn’t too bad, but the hook is definitely underdeveloped, relying on the use of profane sexual slang to draw interest: “I’mma f**k you happy / I’mma f**k you happy”.  Yeah, we get that you enjoy the three- or in this case four-letter word, but still.  The redeeming aspect? The vocal production and effects are nice, not to mention the ambience of the urban slow jam epitomized here.  “OMG” falls into a same boat as Ginuwine-PRN-097890“FYH” as being respectable enough, but lacking the ‘it’ factor of being a true ‘hit’.  I mean, when the highlighting lyric is “You got me in it, wanna scream your f**king name…”, it’s time to retool the songwriting or broaden the horizon of topics. I mean, what happened to the subtle approach? Furthemore the autotune and vocal processing is just wee bit much guys.

Atonement always seems to find its way, much like the earlier “Sex Never Felt Better” and “I Need”.  This time, it comes courtesy of the thoughtful “Running Back” and “Burn Out”.  “Running Back” eschews focus on the physical aspect of the relationship in favor of the emotional, which creates more connection with the songwriting itself.  All three of the casanovas have their own shining lyrical moments, all for the common good of “running back…cause I need your love”.  On “Burn Out”, the ‘three kings’ proclaim “I wanna take you to a burning place / and watch you make the room illuminate / you’ll never burn out, no / you’ll never burn out no…” The bridge might be the brightest moment of the standout: “What I see is brighter than a flame / and no store could shine quite the same / so let me explore what’s new / help me, show me what’s deep inside of you…” Throw in fine ad libs, and “Burn Out” is easily among the best.

Tyrese Gibson Tank-ZNV-000332The album closes solidly, but not necessarily exceptionally.  “Tearing It Down” capitalizes on a fine modern R&B sound and solid songwriting on the pre-chorus and chorus sections.  The ending lyric is bold: “Girl, tonight your bad a$$ belongs to me / belongs to me”.  As for “Our House”, it works well for the most part, but doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

Ultimately, Three Kings is an enjoyable showcase of three of R&B’s brightest male stars.  It is too long mind you, but for the most part, Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank spoil us with their exceptional pipes and sensual vibe.  It’s not the best or most enthralling R&B album of the year, but for those who love a more pure R&B effort that plays up the sensual, Three Kings is the album for you.

Favorites:
“Sex Never Felt Better”; “I Need”; “Next Time Around”; “Explode”; “Running Back”; “Burn Out” 

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Verdict: ✰✰✰½

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