T-Pain • Happy Hour: The Greatest Hits • RCA • US Release Date: November 4, 2014
One question and one question only – Why is T-Pain releasing a greatest hits album at this point in his career? Well… Sure, T-Pain sang about his love for a stripper back in 2005, but one has to question if there is truly the amount of memorable material to justify Happy Hour: The Greatest Hits. The answer is yes, but Happy Hour: The Greatest Hits has its imperfections and omissions.
The effort opens with ‘newer’ T-Pain songs, which is a sound move, yet also makes the listener question, why not make a new studio album? “Up Down (Do This All Day),” which was released as a single in 2013, but failed to make a studio album. Featuring B.o.B., it opens the album with T-Pain’s signature sound – horny, sexual, and driven by the prevalence of autotune. The follow-up just happens to be a five-minute remix, featuring B.o.B, in addition to Boosie Badazz and Kid Ink.
“Drankin’ Patna,” released in the summer of 2014, follows up “Up Down,” keeping the club popping. While it fails to eclipse the classics, it is enjoyable. Still, “Blame It,” T-Pains Grammy-winning hit with Jamie Foxx feels both fresher and more classic, at least in terms of T-Pain’s accomplishments during his decade-long career. One smart move is that two ‘drinking’ songs are placed side by side – “blame it on the alcohol.”
Oh hold your horses – make it three drinking songs! “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” proceeds, and even the swag-heavy “Blame It” has to bow down to the king. A former #1 hit, you can’t reference T-Pain without mentioning his certified classic featuring Yung Joc. Keeping the hits coming, “5 O’Clock” comes next, featuring Lily Allen and Wiz Khalifa. It didn’t reach the heights of “Buy U A Drank,” but is arguably T-Pain’s best song of recent times. Its parent album, rEVOLVEr, was underrated.
“Can’t Believe It,” hailing from Thr33 Ringz is a must-have on a T-Pain collaboration, serving as the biggest hit from his sophomore album (a Billboard Hot 100 Top ten). A pleasant surprise is the track following, “Booty Wurk (One Cheek At a Time)” which may be new to many people. That said, “Booty Wurk” actually has been around since the summer of 2011, but failed to make an album. Think of it as a variant on “Up Down” or visa versa.
“Best Love Song” is the first of two Chris Brown collaborations, the second being “Freeze,” which concludes Happy Hour. Both are enjoyable and represent the best of T-Pain’s career, but “Freeze” could’ve and should’ve been replaced with “Chopped N Skrewed,” which is somehow snubbed.
“Bartender” adds to happy hour, serving as the second representative from Epiphany, The Akon feature was another top five hit for T-Pain. T-Pain throws a one-two punch from Rappa Ternt Sanga by placing singles “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper)” and “I’m Sprung” side by side. Both songs definitely represent the genesis of the autotune one, or something like that.
Ultimately, Happy Hour ends up having enough meat, showcasing T-Pain’s best moments. He misses some gems like “Church” and considering inclusions of songs that didn’t make previous albums, one has to ask where “Reverse Cowgirl” is. Still, the premiere hits are tackled, and this set does make the listeners remember T-Pain’s skill as a hit-maker.