Ginuwine - A Man’s Thoughts

Posted June 23, 2009
Tags: Ginuwine,

If you weren’t a teenager in the ‘90s it’s hard to explain what Ginuwine’s music meant....

A Man's Thoughts Album Review

If you weren’t a teenager in the ‘90s it’s hard to explain what Ginuwine’s music meant. I’m fairly certain that I dry humped my first hot girl on the dance floor to My Pony, and I spent a solid amount of my high school years trying to re-enact the intro phone call from So Anxious. I may have even been slapped a couple times asking girls if there was any more room for me in those jeans. In fact, Ginuwine was so instrumental in the development of whatever game I have, it’s not a matter of if Ginuwine gets played at my wedding, it’s only a question of which song. In other words, Ginuwine was the man.

Excuse me, is the man. After a nearly four year hiatus Ginuwine is back and in full effect on his new album A Man’s Thoughts. First and foremost, the G we get on Man’s Thoughts is not the same G we got in 1996. Without straying too far from his sweet sweet love makin roots, this Ginuwine is more focused on relationships than one night stands, a natural musical evolution considering the man now has somewhere in the neighborhood of eight kids. So while it’s hard to imagine Ginuwine ever surpassing the cultural impact of his early work, A Man’s Thoughts is a welcome addition to his R&B legacy.

Listening to the comeback album of a beloved artist is always a nerve wracking experience; there’s nothing worse than watching your hero return a weakened man. (Hence my refusal to admit Rocky V ever happened). So you can imagine my relief when I first put A Man’s Thoughts on the stereo and immediately thought, “thank you sweet baby Jesus, this is pretty damn good.” Actually, I had relatively high expectations for A Man’s Thoughts based on the lead single Last Chance, a track that mixes the best of Ginuwine’s ballad and up-tempo abilities. With typically smooth production work from Bryan Michael Cox, Last Chance is the manifestation of the album’s musical mission: to showcase the more mature Ginuwine, a man whose love is as electrifying as Jordan in the clutch and as deep as Obama’s plan for America. Equally exciting is the bouncing Trouble, a track that immediately reminded me of Kelly’s I’m a Flirt, only with a dope verse from Bun B, who once again demonstrates his lyrical versatility. Goddamn it’s good to hear Ginuwine sing about booties again. I don’t ask for much. I really don’t.

Speaking on behalf of all men, not all our thoughts deserve an audience, and the same goes for select portions of A Man’s Thoughts. Easily the most disappointing song on the album is Get Involved, a reunion track featuring Timbaland and Missy that sounds awkwardly forced. The bulk of the blame here falls on Timbo’s shoulders: he apparently thought he was doing a track with Nelly Furtado when he wrote Get Involved. The frantically bouncing production and Ginuwine’s always smooth vocals mix like oil and water. While Get Involved is the only song on A Man’s Thoughts poor enough to deserve mention, there are more than a couple tracks on the album that come and go without making much of an impact, most notably the formulaic Even When I’m Mad and the overly ambitious Orchestra (although I have to appreciate the “blowin my trombone” line). Hey, no one ever confused Ginuwine with Marvin Gaye.

Still, to the delight of anyone who’s ever thrown down at a house party, or burned up the sheets, while Ginuwine played in the background, much of A Man’s Thoughts is a welcome reminder of why we love his music. Lying to Each Other could have been the album’s sexiest track, but G flips the script and transforms the echoing guitar line and pounding bass into a tale of love gone wrong in the age of technology, and the Brandy duet Bridge to Love is the definition of a mid-tempo jam. Is Ginuwine still at the top of his game? Not quite, but he’s definitely back in the game, and playing it well. Welcome back Ginuwine, we missed you. Now if you’re excuse me, my saddle’s waiting. I’m gonna go see if my girl will jump on it.

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

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Posted June 23, 2009
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