You might not know it but you have probably already heard Kevin Rudolf. In the past he has played second fiddle to the likes of Justin Timberlake, Flo Rida and Timbaland, he is the annoying little voice on the R’n’B club bangers that get everywhere. On his own album Kevin Rudolf is hard to pin down. Mainly glossy R’n’B pop, the songs are often injected with hip hop beats and punctuated with random snippets of guitar everywhere. The unique selling point is that he seems to effortlessly combine these disparate musical styles into glistening electronic pop. This would be quite revolutionary if everyone from Gwen Stefani to Akon and even Kid Rock hadn’t got there already. Yes that’s right, Kevin Rudolf is less original than Kid Rock.
The album begins badly with ‘In The City’, which attempts to be gritty and grown up but fails miserably. The songs gangsta-tastic use of both violent imagery and misogyny smacks of a cheap attempt to hop on a bandwagon. Things get worse on the crunk-lite ‘Let It Rock’ where the bouncy yet boring and predictable tune is buoyed by an appearance from Cash Money label-mate Lil’ Wayne (not as good as Lil’ John but much better than Lil’ Chris). Lil’ Wayne sounds bored and phones in a rather uninspired rap about movie stars or something, I hear Lindsey Lohan loves it… Elsewhere the likes of ‘I Song’ are poor ballads that sound like One Republic. Lyrically the album is the usual lazy platitudes that fill the Top 40. Inspiring lines such as “In the city of dreams/You get caught up in the schemes/And fall apart at the seams” probably wont keep Bob Dylan up at night.
The album is bland and without any merit whatsoever. The genre crossing songs feel forced and lifeless; in trying to be a master of all trades Rudolf ends up sounding like a master of none. It is an album recycling ideas test driven by the Black Eyed Peas and Kid Rock and as a result is truly awful. Of course this record will probably be huge and the songs will get everywhere. For extremely white suburban kids across the planet this will be another glossy pop record to soundtrack nights out in cheap provincial dancehalls. Me, I’d rather staple my ears to a desk than listen to this again.