(J Records, **)
Shortly after taking home an Oscar for his unforgettable portrayal of Ray Charles in the movie Ray, Jamie Foxx released his second studio album, 2005's Unpredictable. It was an out-of-the-box success, selling more than 500,000 copies the first week in stores. The CD, featuring the smash title track and "DJ Play a Love Song," quickly went double platinum.
Three years later, the actor-cum-singing sensation delivers Intuition, the follow-up to his pop breakthrough, in stores today. On screen, Foxx is magnetic as he melts into his characters. But his singing, though technically fine, isn't nearly as nuanced or as colorful.
Just as he did on Unpredictable, Foxx couches his smooth vocals in super-sleek tracks tailored for either the clubs or the bedroom. It's trendy, high-gloss R&B; laced with slightly sleazy lyrics that center on the various ways Foxx ensnares his fly honeys. Throughout Intuition, the artist, who turned 41 this month, is still an actor: He convincingly portrays a sex-obsessed playboy nearly half his age.
To help him with this characterization, Foxx enlists a bevy of white-hot names in R&B; and hip-hop, including the Dream, Lil' Wayne, T.I., T-Pain, Timbaland and the ubiquitous Ne-Yo. Most times, Foxx comes off as a guest on his own album, crooning lines behind the rhymes of his scene-stealing collaborators.
Ever the chameleon, he easily blends into the heavily programmed, beat-driven arrangements - most ideal for the mind-numbing wasteland known as modern urban radio. Limp, robotic cuts such as "Number One" and "Digital Girl" are prime examples.
But here and there, Foxx and his producers manage to come up with charmers. "I Don't Know," for instance, is a sexy standout with a largely unadorned, two-step groove that recalls Marvin Gaye's classic "I Want You." It's a fleeting glimpse of Foxx as a mature seducer. If Intuition had more numbers like that, the album would be far more interesting. But as it stands, the CD is overly cautious, self-consciously trendy and ultimately forgettable - nothing like the Foxx seen in the movies.
Download these: : "Just Like Me" and "I Don't Know"
Rashod D. Ollison