T-Pain - Epiphany

Posted about 9 years ago
Tags: T-Pain,

You know that guy who breaks down every word to every song until it’s completely ruined? I...

Epiphany Album Review

You know that guy who breaks down every word to every song until it’s completely ruined? I hate that guy, I don’t want to be that guy, but I have been left no choice. Mr. Pain’s new album is called Epiphany and in the intro he challenges us to “marinate” on the meaning of the title. OK, let’s bust out the grill and marinate:

E-piph-a-ny. Noun


1. An appearance or manifestation of a deity: Unless there’s a Roman god of giving girls shots of Patron, I’m afraid T-Pain falls short of deity status.
2. A sudden, intuitive perception or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something: Allow me to share the insights I’ve gained after listening to this album; it’s easier to pick up women when they’re drunk, having a time machine would be fun, and T-Pain enjoys ejaculating on women’s stomachs.

Now I’m not expecting him to be the second coming of Marvin Gaye, but the only epiphany in sight is when T-Pain realized songs like I’m N Luv Wit A Stripper could make him a very rich man. A more appropriate album title would have been Women+Alcohol= Good Times. That’s enough marination, let’s move on.

T-Pain’s distinctive vocoder vocal style and electronic synth sound has made him one of the most popular hook singers in the game. At its core Epiphany is full of radio friendly jams that will no doubt be saturating the airwaves, including the lead single Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin). Buy U A Drank is T-Pain at his most addictive; the production is minimal, there’s a heavily melodic hook, and he gets Yung Joc to come on and drop a slow flow. If you want something to sing to while sitting in traffic, this is your joint. T-Pain repeats the club/hook/melody formula throughout the album, most notably on Tipsy and Bartender, a song with the chorus “she made us drinks to drink, we drunk em, got drunk.” So lyrical complexity isn’t his strong point, but these songs are catchy enough to top the charts. What more do you want?

A handful of songs on Epiphany show T-Pain’s got more in him than vocal effects and club life stories. Church is a fast paced cut with a speeding guitar line and T-Pain’s alter-ego Teddy Verseti flowing quickly and sharp. It’s T-Pain on speed and it’s one of the more enjoyable songs on the album. He also brings in some distinctive island flair on Shottas, a reggae/dancehall banger that’s dope primarily because Cham and Konvict Music labelmate Kardinal Offishall absolutely take over. Even on these more musically adventurous tracks T-Pain isn’t setting the world on fire, he just might not have it in him.

The absolute show stoppers are the joint-tracks I Got It and Suicide which deal with the realities and repercussions of HIV/AIDS. Does T-Pain actually have HIV? Aside from providing gossip columnists with material it doesn’t matter. You have to respect T-Pain for speaking on a topic most artists won’t touch. Even though HIV/AIDS is absolutely destroying communities it remains a willingly ignored topic. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much to find some inconsistencies in T-Pain’s message of caution. “Let’s get drunk and forget what we did” isn’t exactly a safe sex anthem. Even so it’s a start.

In the end T-Pain’s a poor man’s R. Kelly. He can’t sing as well, doesn’t look as sharp, and doesn’t have the charisma to pull off tracks like the ridiculously corny Time Machine (on which he calls himself Tebulon Pedalophagus from the Planet Tallagusa). There’s only one man alive that could pull that off, and his name isn’t T-Pain. Before the e-mails start pouring in… I’m not hating, I turned up his verse on I’m A Flirt as loud as anyone. Let’s just be honest. He’s simply a decent singer and songwriter who’s discovered the formula to pumping out enjoyable but ultimately forgettable hits. Now that shouldn’t be an epiphany for anyone.

DJBooth Rating - 2 Spins

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