CD Review: Bluestars by Pretty Ricky - Worst Album of the Year

December 26, 2005
Al Barger

This Pretty Ricky outfit came to my attention at Blogcritics. Articles about them and B5 have been totally dominating our comments section. 2,300+ comments on one Blogcritics story constitutes buzz as far as I'm concerned, so let's see what all the fuss is all about. Hey, I'm down with the kids.

Problem is, the state of popular music has deteriorated so far that most of the kids wouldn't recognize good music if it came up and bit them in the ass. This album is just worthless corporate pollution marketed strictly to musical illiterates.

Anticipating a negative response, let me just pre-emptively dismiss the obvious. I'm a 43 year old white man from Indiana, so what do I know about what makes a good r&b boy band? Well, what I know is MUSIC- and this nonsense isn't even vaguely it.

For starters, there is nothing on this album that would constitute a song, in any meaningful sense of the word. I can pretty well guarantee you that no one will ever, ever do a cover version of any of these "songs," cause there's just nothing there to cover. There's no melody, even in a rap kind of way. Most of this is more or less just talking over beats.

It's talking over entirely mundane, rote synthesizers and drum machine beats at that. Best I can tell, somebody must have literally phoned this production in. Least ways, I have trouble believing that someone would sit in a room and concentrate on what they were doing and still manage to come up with something so entirely generic and impersonal.

Perhaps this record is simply the product of a committee. Some entertainment industry guy has set his sons up as a group, hired some studio hacks, a pr firm, and voila! I accused Mariah Carey of being a corporate whore, but this Pretty Ricky album makes Mimi sound like an avant garde artiste.

My principle objection is that Bluestars utterly fails on every musical level, but this record also conveys a grotesque gutter minded idea of romance that's too boring and mundane even to be disgusting.

I'll be your French lover got wee wee for your C-double-O chie
Baby let me la la la lick your body
Wax that ass, wax on, wax off, like Mr. Miagi
I'mma eat that plum, pop that cherry lick chocolate from your banana split

Even Snoop is more legitimately romantic and emotional- plus he has some actual talent and personality. Pretty Ricky is less talented even than the 2Live Crew, but they're working on the same dumb animalistic level. They slap on a few sappy keyboards and a bit of generic 10th generation vocal harmony, and seem to think that this makes them romantic. It does not.

The only thing that's even bad enough to be vaguely interesting is that they're marketing such anatomically specific smut directly and explicitly to underage girls. Indeed, they're addressing their pedophilic appeal directly to the subject- OBJECT- of their desires, as age ain't "Nothing But a Number." Yeah, tell that to the judge there, ya R Kelly wannabes.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be predisposed to be all that sympathetic to any girl who would go for this. In practice, I might get all soft hearted over some teenage sob story, but I would generally expect even a girl with low self-esteem to demand better than this. Really, you ought to at least expect the guy to make a minimal pretense of giving a damn about you before you go spreading your legs for these rutting whoredogs.

They exhibit no significant musical skill on Bluestars. They give no evidence of having any personality, or anything to say. All in all, Bluestars is the worst popular record I've heard all year.

Now, youse kids can take this review however you wish. You can decide that I'm just not cool enough to "get it." You can conjure up some of that classic purposely ignorant street prose, as if the inability or unwillingness to speak well constitutes evidence of street cred. It does not. It merely advertises that the person so speaking is ghetto.

You could, of course, decide to talk some hateful nonsense about the reviewer- as if that would faze me or prove anything. Cursing ol' Al though still will not make this crap a good record. Or you might just conveniently decide to interpret it that I'm a hata.

Or you could take it that I really love MUSIC- and want you to see what you're missing out on when you waste your time on this garbage. Look kids, there are TONS of things you can listen to. You want some loverman music? Marvin Gaye singing Let's Get It On still works. You want more an r&b boys group? Why don't you start with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles? That right there is the real deal.

If you need something more modern, you could just as easily be listening to Boyz II Men. Those guys had real songs- plus, they're gentlemen. Jumpin' Jebus, even 'N Sync or the frickin' Backstreet Boys would be a step up from this big pile o' nothing.

Holla Back!

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