The Adventures of Bobby Ray
Derulo, Kanye and Andre 3000. Comparisons to the latter two artists have been rife, largely due to BoB’s gleeful disregard of rap parameters. Hip hop, rock, pop and spangly futurofunk grooves are shaken together to create an intoxicating cocktail.
BoB claims his favourite band is Coldplay, namechecking Wolfmother, My Chemical Romance and The White Stripes alongside more obvious influences such as DMX, Outkast and Eminem. It’s the union of these two worlds that produces the album’s standout track, ‘Airplanes’, featuring Marshall Mathers and emo princess Hayley Williams of Paramore. Elsewhere he ropes in Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo for the fluffy electro-pop of ‘Magic’, while lining up more obvious cameos by TI and Lupe Fiasco.
Glossy and slick, The Adventures of Bobby Ray does make you yearn for the heartfelt, visionary music of Outkast (where on earth art thou?), but BoB has come a long way from being booed at his high school talent show and even further from his 13-year-old self, filling stacks of notebooks with teen angst outpourings. And this debut has super smash hit written all over it.