1. Interlude 2. Show Off 3. Trouble feat. Bun B 4. Last Chance 5. Interlude 6. One Time For Love 7. Open the Door 8. Get Involved feat. Timbaland & Missy Elliott 9. Orchestra 10. Touch Me 11. Lying to Each Other 12. Even When I'm Mad 13. Bridge to Love feat. Brandy 14. Used to Be the One 15. Show Me the Way
From the opening intro — Ginuwine prepares his fans for what’s to come by thanking them for their support over the last 13 years. “Show Off” (Oak) starts the set off nicely, the mid-tempo cut quickly turns into a hot up-tempo in a matter of seconds. Ginuwine advises his lady to show off her swag, “go head let the haters get mad,” a hot jam that is surely to be bumped by mixshow DJ’s. “Trouble,” (Dante “Inferno” Jackson) one of the next singles features legendary rapper Bun B. The song takes listeners back to “The Bachelor” era where Ginuwine was the king of dance and grind, a hot single for the summer.
The interlude before “One Time for Love” which is easily the best ballad & most radio friendly track on the disc, features Ginuwine speaking on a man’s thoughts and has a little sample of Jodeci’s “Stay” at the end which makes it a great lead into “One Time for Love.” Produced by Brian Michael Cox and written by Johnta Austin, the song makes you want a whole project arranged by the duo for Ginuwine. The previously leaked track “Open The Door” a hot collaboration with RL from NEXT proves once again 90’s artists are still making the best R&B music. Speaking of 90’s artists, Ginuwine also teams up with the vocally incredible Brandy on “Bridge To Love” (Elvis “Blac Elvis” Williams) proving once again my previous statement about 90’s R&B music. Their voices mesh well together on this hot mid-tempo. “You need to stop making excuses for everything you do,” Brandy sings in the hook. “
Lying To Each Other” (Elvis “Blac Elvis” Williams) is a hot track, with lyrics that anybody who has been in a relationship that has reached its peek can relate to, it’s sure to be a fan favorite. “Touch Me” (Melvin “Saint Nick” Coleman) another single Ginuwine plans to release in the future with the video already being shot, features an auto-tune hook in reminisce of an old BLACKstreet track. It works for this song, which makes it one of the best songs on the disc. Smooth vocals layered over a hot mid-tempo production. I have a feeling Urban/AC radio is going to play this one out! “Orchestra” (Oak) is my personal favorite song on the disc. From the mellow start in the production to the lyrics and vocal delivery. “She be calling my name, I be making her sing..like an orchestra - as we lay I make the music play, time to make an orchestra“. Baby making music at its best!
“Get Involved,” without a doubt the most hyped-up song, reunites Ginuwine with Timbaland and Missy. A hot club track no doubt, however when you compare it to the rest of the songs on the disc, it comes up short as one the albums highlights. “Used to Be the One” one of the best produced (Melvin Rogers) songs on the album, the beat pulls you in immediately and Ted Clinkscale’s lyrics with G’s vocals - puts it on the list as one of the top 3 songs on the set.
Overall I have to say - with everybody asking is Hip-Hop dead, my question has been is real R&B dead? Ginuwine proves it’s not with “A Man’s Thoughts” easily the best R&B CD of 2009 by far. Whether you’ve been a fan of Ginuwine or just a fan of good R&B, this is a CD to cop and add to your collection. Support real R&B and go out and purchase it!
The school of R & B hard knocks can be overwhelming but it will never hold a survivor down. No one knows that better than Ginuwine, who has experienced the joys and perils of the fickle music biz and helped lay the blueprint for many of today's younger soul brothers. The once eligible bachelor has traded in his player's card for a loving family life with his wife (former rapper Solé) and their children. G's latest offering (his sixth album), "A Man's Thoughts," is a melodic reflection of his past and present lives. ESSENCE.com caught up with the Baltimore native to discuss those crazy Justin Timberlake comparisons, his suicide attempts, and why he is helping the mentally disabled.
ESSENCE.COM: Welcome back, G! Your new album, "A Man's Thoughts," is a 14-track labor of love. Was it difficult getting back in the swing of things after being away so long? GINUWINE: (Laughs.) Well, I wrote 45 songs in all. I believe you can listen to my album from beginning to end. Of course, some might love certain songs better than others, but overall I'm proud of it. Plus, I have everyone from Timbaland to Missy to Bun B and Brandy on it.
ESSENCE.COM: Your album is typically you with an all-star lineup, but folks are accusing you of swagger-jacking Justin Timberlake because of the Timbaland-produced anthem "Get Involved." How do you feel about that? GINUWINE: (Laughs.) Are you serious? If that's copying Justin Timberlake I want to know whether people say the same thing about him when he hooked up to work with Tim, whom I've worked with for years? People are real funny.
ESSENCE.COM: On a more serious note, you lost both your parents in 1999 and 2000. How have you been coping? GINUWINE: After my father shot himself to death and my mother died from cancer less than a year later, I really didn't want to be here anymore, I didn't want to live and tried to commit suicide more than once. There was no one around that I really loved at the time, so I turned to the drinking and drugs like weed and ecstasy. I was done mentally and emotionally to the point that I had to go see a psychiatrist, but that didn't do any good because I wasn't interested. In fact, the two times I visited him I was high. I was depressed and felt like I had nobody to talk to that could relate to me.
ESSENCE.COM: Wow. What was the turning point for you? GINUWINE: I had one friend who intervened and begged me to get help. Even though I didn't continue with my therapy, I went to church and received counseling from my pastor and got straight spiritually. I was able to turn away from all those things that were destroying me and finally think clearly. I had to ask myself whether or not I wanted to go out like my dad and have my kids hurt the way I was hurting. I've been clean for about seven years. Now, I keep all that stuff away from me, especially when I'm on the road.
ESSENCE.COM: Despite your adversity you've remained positive and are working with the mentally disabled. GINUWINE: My wife and I own mentally disabled homes in Kansas City where the mentally disabled board through a program called SPRUCE (Special People Requiring Unique Care Equally). Many people don't realize that once they turn18 they are often thrown out the house and are homeless. At the home, they are able to learn the basic fundamentals of life, like finding a job, how to take care of themselves, clean their rooms, and other things. My heart always likes to give, and if I'm going to help somebody it might as well be someone who can't help themselves.
To find out more about Ginuwine's charitable work, visit www.sprucekc.com, and look out for his new album, "A Man's Thoughts," in stores Tuesday, June 23.
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