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T-PAIN

t-pain
Happy Hour – The Greatest Hits
Sony

It was only a matter of weeks ago that Faheem Rasheed Najm – better known as T-Pain – shocked an unsuspecting audience at NPR by performing without his infamous Auto-Tune at a Tiny Desk Concert. More than that, he sounded good. Damn good.

Not only did it give listeners a chance to hear the voice behind the mountainous production, it also came in close proximity to the release of Happy Hour, his first greatest hits compilation.

This gave us a chance to reconsider and revisit the work of a man who was, if only for a time, one of the most hated men in music. An immediate realisation follows: all the time we spent bemoaning the alleged death of quote-unquote ‘real’ music, we could have spent having fun with tracks like Freeze, Buy U A Drank and the Jamie Foxx collab, Blame It.

It’s shiny, unabashedly commercial and often ludicrous – there’s a song called I’m ’N Luv (Wit A Stripper),for God’s sake. What’s revealed, however, is how dedicated T-Pain has been to the format, and how he still manages to make it work in his favour. Points off for shunning the anthemic Take Your Shirt Off, though.

3.5 stars

DAVID JAMES YOUNG

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