Published Dec 17, 2013B.o.B has come a long way since the Adventures of Bobby Ray, but by no means does that make his music any less good. The 15-track Underground Luxury boasts production from the likes of DJ Toomp, DJ Mustard, Arthur McArthur and B.o.B himself, creating an eclectic cross-genre soundboard. While it may seem that B.o.B is "trying to fit in" on tracks like the explicit "Headband," which features 2 Chainz, and the Future-assisted "Ready," his actual talent supersedes the accusations.
Though B.o.B abandoned Bobby Ray and his guitar for half the album, day one fans will find a familiar pace on the piano-driven "One Day" and "John Doe," a song about love and infidelity. The most genuine moment of the album comes on "Paper Route," a song about music politics on which B.o.B unleashes bars like a dragon spitting fire, a far cry from "Cranberry Moon Walk" in which Bobby Ray falls short rhyming 'E. Honda' with '3Hunna.' Despite the high highs and low lows of Underground Luxury, B.o.B finishes strong with the Mike WiLL Made It-produced "We Still In This Bitch." With features from Grand Hustle head honcho T.I. and club king Juicy J, if B.o.B didn't already make it clear what path he wanted his music to take in the future, he solidified it with this club anthem.
B.o.B has come a long way musically, but one thing that's always remained consistent is his knack for great concepts and strong deliveries. If Underground Luxury is the best representation of where Bobby Ray's sound stands, it's seems confused, but with luxury rap taking heed in hip-hop, B.o.B may just be the underdog worthy of an up-next title. (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)