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Whilst both Bow Wow and Omarion have experienced moderate success as solo artists, they interestingly came across the idea of creating an entire studio album of collaborations. I am someone that is all for seeing huge stars clash together to create even bigger records, but could a combination of these two artists become a little irritating? Bow Wow is now finally twenty-one, and after many years in the music industry it is now legal for him to drink at his own album release parties. Whilst the guy (previously Lil Bow Wow) has received a lot of jokes at his expense for his role in music when he was younger, when he began to produce more grown-up music around 2005 ('Like You') it was worth taking notice of him as being an artist with a good eye for R&B records. 'Face Off' is Bow Wow's sixth studio album since his arrival on the scene in 2000, and thankfully this 2007 release strays away from any lyrics trying to make Bow Wow sound as though as he is a tough guy, and concentrates more on the sensual music he can produce for the young ladies.
Omarion is the older of the pair at twenty-three years of age, and is the more likeable of the pair having created a solo career for himself since disbanding from B2K where he was the lead vocal. His previous two solo albums both topped the US Billboard album chart, including a Grammy nomination for his first album. Considering 'Face Off' only entered the chart at #11, this makes it Omarion's least sucessful project since his boyband work. With his previous teeny-bopper experience, he can apply this well to work with Bow Wow in achieving the young female audience that purchase most of their records. Omarion has received success and acknowledgement as a solo artist, most noticeably with the single 'Icebox', and if it wasn't Rihanna singing about an umbrella that brought us the bad weather last summer, the blame must entirely rest on Omarion's icey cold lyrics. 'Face Off' would be the first album by either Bow Wow or Omarion to feature a parental advisory warning.
"Neither dude will likely be recognized as a world-class vocalist on his own" - Entertainment Weekly
1. Face Off (2.10) - 3*/5
2. Hoostar (3.18) - 2*
3. Girlfriend (4.44) - 4*
4. Hey Baby (Jump Off) (3.08) - 4*
5. He Ain't Gotta Know (3.56) - 3*
6. Bachelor Pad (3.19) - 2*
7. Listen (4.57) - 3*
8. Can't Get Tired of Me (4.10) - 3*
9. Number Ones (2.52) - 2*
10. Baby Girl (3.57) - 4*
11. Take Off Your Clothes (3.32) - 3*
12. Another Girl (3.25) - 2*
Most may forget that Bow Wow and Omarion have worked together in the past, back in 2005 Omarion made a featured appearance on 'Let Me Hold You' that reached #4 in the US Billboard. This was more of a cameo though than a fully-fledged partnership, and the first single to be released from 'Face Off' would be the T-Pain produced 'Girlfriend'. Whilst the track appears as though it is nothing on the surface, after repeated plays the track did become a semi-romantic hit. Unsurprisingly the track failed to make any real impact on the charts, only peaking at #33 in the US, however if you like these two you are bound to appreciate this track. Aspects to the track and video including singing about needing a girl in their world, and then a world appearing in Bow Wow's hands, shows that these artists have some way to go until they can produce excellent adult romance songs.
"I got one named Brenda, put her on my agenda, shoulda seen the way I bend her" - Bow Wow & Omarion
'Hey Baby (Jump Off)' was selected as the second single, and the video worked as a conclusion to the previous video, featuring the pair continuing to wow the ladies as well as dancing around in their signature dressing rooms - including Omarion with some crazy hair. Considering that their album charted fairly respectably, it is surprising to hear that this track only peaked at #102. In my opinion 'Jump Off' works as a very enjoyable dance record, and is right up there quality-wise with its 'Girlfriend' counterpart. No third single release has been officially named yet, however 'He Ain't Gotta Know' is a strong contender.
'Face Off' as a first album on the album works more as an introduction to the album than an actual track, and is a spinning around in a boxing ring track as Bow Wow and Omarion agressively speak about how they are beginning to face off against one another. This is infact one of the better introduction attempts to an album I have heard, and am impressed that young artists have at least pulled this off. There are some good tracks on 'Face Off', although there is a limited amount of true singles on the album. Timbaland, Scott Storch and T-Pain were all included as producers on the album and the tracks they have worked on all sound how you expect they would. The best unreleased tracks are 'He Ain't Gotta Know' about a girl cheating on her boyfriend, and 'Baby Girl'. Personally I prefer these two artists apart.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Face Off
2 Hood Star
4 Hey Baby (Jump Off)
5 He Ain't Gotta Know
6 Bachelor Pad
8 Can't Get Tired of Me
9 Number Ones
10 Baby Girl
11 Take off Your Clothes
12 Another Girl