Mike Jones – The Voice

voiceArtist: Mike Jones
Album: The Voice
Genre: Hip Hop
Label:Ice Age/Warner Bros.

Not only in hip hop, but often in this genre, an act will bust out the gates with a massive, all consuming single that launches them to stardom. Mike Jones is a prime example with his now outdated, “Back Then,” from his debut release. This lead to a platinum certified record and now it comes time for the follow up, but The Voice just doesn’t have legs to stand on.

From the moment the record begins, it’s obvious Jones’ prime is gone [if there ever was one]. A slew of singles have come out already [dating back to last year], but none caught fire and there’s a reason for that. None of the initial tracks, including the single, “Cuddy Buddy,” which features Lil Wayne has nothing going for it. The earlier tracks, as well as later on the record, uses the same deep vocal effect as, “Back Then,” did, but now it just feels overdone. Jones can’t seem to get over the typical talk of what he has and who he is, minus the necessary ballad, “I Know,” which falls so heavily into the “stereotypical rapper goes soft” checklist that you’ll quickly get bored. Even the club jam, “Drop and Gimme 50,” which features Hurricane Chris, just seems ridiculously and previously used material. Calling out dance moves? So early Millennium and prior.

The back half of the record has a similar series of missteps. “Give Me A Call,” tries to be blunt and catchy like a Ying Yang Twins track, but fizzles from the moment Devin The Dude comes in for the hook. This isn’t ironically perverted, but dumb. “Next To You,” sounds so much like the riff from, “No Scrubs,” with extra high hat and Sean Kingston vocal effects that I bet most wouldn’t be able to tell you the rapper on a first listen. Also, as is necessary these days, there is vocoder on “Swagg Thru Da Roof,” but no heart or creative hook to carry it on. Simply saying the title of the song or shouting “Mike Jones” isn’t enough to make me, or anyone over 14 care. Another top 40 maker, T-Pain, appears on, “Scandalous Hoes 2,” which seems to have something going for it, but Jones’ lyrics are too weak to be catchy. End with the ill advised attempt to be serious, “Grandma 2,” and the you’re left with a sour taste in your mouth and a screaming pair of ear drums begging to be put out of their misery.

Just because a simplistic hook got you big doesn’t mean you can rely on that forever. Fire only strikes once or twice [for most] and you need to strike while it’s hot. Waiting two years for a follow up was only Jones’ first mistake. Making a second record with no single worthy tracks and misused guest appearances was the second. If The Voice is supposed to give us a reason to listen to Mike Jones then he fails ten fold. If anything, it’ll give people a reason to find a real rapper to support.

Score: 2/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Brandon Folsom

    wowwwwwww @ that rating.

    I thought this album was ill.

    Essay Potna is THAT dude.