Verdict: 3 / 5
R&B groups, which were the staple of radio just two decades ago, have all but disappeared. The fort has been kept standing by a handful of artists who are left to battle it out on a rather competitive musical terrain and struggle up the pop charts. R&B’s decline has forced veteran artists like Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank to combine their talents in hopes of sparking interest in a forgotten genre, essentially declaring themselves to be the saviors of R&B. On the nostalgic Three Kings, the sultry trio, collectively known as TGT, soulfully croon their way through seventeen tracks, each one dripping with sex appeal and urban male machismo. ‘We want to get R&B back in a place where it’s heard by everybody and not just older grown folks,’ says the R&B super-group. Unfortunately, Three Kings doesn’t offer enough to stir a revival.
She know what she came here for/Plus she know what’s mine is yours/
It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none/It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none/
So let’s share, share, share/We’ll just share, share, share – Lyrics from No Fun
Infusing their individual styles and seductive vocals, in hopes of bridging the gap between old and new school music, TGT head straight to the bedroom with their debut album. A quick glance over the song titles confirms that these three thirty-something’s have nothing else on their minds beside sex, sex and more sex. At 17 tracks, the record is a mixed bag of slow jams and ballads – some great, some simply mediocre. Nevertheless, vocally the group is a well-oiled machine, drawing inspiration from greats such as R. Kelly, Boyz II Men and the Isley Brothers. Despite the pitch differences in their voices, the harmonies on Our House, Burn Out, Explode, Next Time Around and I Need are superb. It’s during these soulful moments that the album peaks. Unfortunately, weaker tracks like Running Back, OMG, FYH, Hurry and Weekend Love are merely fillers. They remind the audience that that each one of the artists involved here are simply saving their best work for their own solo projects.
So we gotta go with something, damn this ain’t working out no/
‘Cus it feels like I’m driving the wrong way/I swear I shouldn’t be leaving my baby now/
You know what? I’m a I’m a stop it, turn this, turn this thing around/
What the hell I’m thinking bout? Straight back to your house – Lyrics from Our House
That said, Three Kings is a step in the right direction. Ballads like I Need drips with sincerity and maturity, while tracks like No Fun (about three guys sharing a girl in bed… ick!) shows off their playful side. While a number of the mid-tempo tracks offer charm, the duo fails to deliver one really strong single to set the album off. They’ve done enough to raise a few eyebrows, but overall Three Kings could have been a lot better. Shower after listening to this album!