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Press Play  Hear it Now

RS: 2.5of 5 Stars

2009

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It's tempting to credit the surprisingly not-terrible Press Play to Diddy's collaborators, who include Christina Aguilera, Big Boi and Nas, and production from Kanye West, Pharrell and Rich Harrison. But if you believe advance buzz, Press Play is a product of Diddy’s vision for a forward-thinking hip-hop record that tosses in lots of R&B and flashes of techno. On those terms, Diddy has done pretty well: Hot cuts include Seventies soul-splashed celebrations of personal greatness like the very Kanye "We Gon' Make It," the dark, manically smitten love song "Tell Me," and "Hold Up," a strangely poppin' remembrance of a rougher past with kiddie-choir-tinged Wu Tang-ish production. There’s also a run of futuristic-but-undercooked R&B cuts that could be outtakes from Justin Timberlake's new record. Diddy's rhymes are more adept than they used to be, but his flat voice and retro boasts drag things down. That Press Play is still OK despite this is proof that trying too hard isn’t always a bad thing.

CHRISTIAN HOARD

(Posted: Oct 17, 2006)

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