Mario is back after his previous album, 'Go', didn't quite achieve the commercial success of his breakout, 'Turning Point'. For me 'Go' had a few solid tracks but didn't keep me interested enough to listen to the whole album, at least not very often. This may explain the direction this album and lead single has taken. Listening to this album (which I have about seven times already) you can see almost every song being able to achieve radio success, something his previous albums haven't had. Much of this album, particularly the first half, is heavily influenced by hip hop production and is dance/club R&B. It gets a touch into more contemporary R&B closer to Mario's breakthrough track 'Let Me Love You' toward the end of the album but most of it still maintains more of an upbeat feel. The slowest track comes with the final track, 'The Hardest Moment', which reminds me a bit of Michael Jackson's slower songs in the Dangerous/History era.
Apart from the opener, which is easily the worst song on the disc, (it just sounds like a million other boring beats Gucci and other southern rappers of his quality have used, and it doesn't allow Mario any room to move), there ain't a dull moment on the album. The only small problem with the overall faster pace of the album means that it doesn't allow Mario to quite use all his vocal skills often enough to their full potential. The other negative for me is Big Sean on 'Before She Said Hi' which is one of the best tracks on the album. But I'm not really feeling his rap verse at all on it. It brings the track down a notch.
Track for track though everything is solid and I think this is comfortably the most consistent Mario album of his four. So far this year the R&B I've given a listen to has had a pretty good success rate.
Best Tracks: Get Out, Soundtrack to My Broken Heart, Starlight, Ooh Baby, Before She Said Hi, Don't Walk Away, I Miss My Friend, The Hardest Moment