Tyrese Gibson is one hell of an entertainer. Not only is he a top, in-demands actor who has been in two of the biggest franchise films this year (‘Fast Five’and ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’) he has also written a best-selling, self-help, story of his life book (‘How To Get Out Your Own Way’). Music, however, will always remain this pin-up, poster boy’s first love. From many successful stellar albums (like his self-titled debut, 2000 Watts, I Wanna Go There and the rap/R&B double success of Alter Ego, which saw him uniquely undertake his rapping alias ‘Black-Ty’) to sensational singles (like the Grammy certified Sweet Lady, How You Gonna Act Like That, You Don’t Give A Damn and the single in a million One) and forging a group with fellow grown and sexy R&B stars Ginuwine and Tank (TGT). This kid has come a long way from taking a bus on a Coca Cola advert. Now after a career year, Mr. Gibson gives his fans an ‘Open Invitation’ to his first album in half a decade.
It was clear to hear earlier this year that Ty hasn’t lost a step in five years as he hits the dance floor hard with ‘2 Fast, 2 Furious’ and ‘Fast Five’ co-star Ludacris. The two go hard and hit the torque with one of the best songs of the year, proving that making great music to them is ‘Too Easy’. As Luda sets it off with the intro to this track and album with the line “See what we have here is/An open invitation to the first day of the rest of your life”, while Tyrese exclaims “Just pulled up to the club in a McLaren, got like “oh”/We hopped out and the girls followed us as we escorted to the top flo’/Got bottles in one hand, cash in the other/Stacks flying everywhere, need an umbrella/My black cards unlimited, keep on spending it, cause I got money to blow”. It’s clear that the swagger and the cool is set to high as Tyrese airs out and conditions the competition.
This big, blazing track goes along with the R. Kelly and Rick Ross certified I Gotta Chick to bring heat to the hype for this album. Still, these aren’t the only sweet singles from the Sweet Lady singer. Stay is a signature ballad in Ty’s trademark style that is another hot hit. These two tracks open up Invitation perfectly, just like the Jay Rock assisted, atmospheric opener I’m Home that further proves that this Hollywood star is back where he belongs like Watts California. Best Of Me proves to be the best ballad from the man that over the years has brought the beauty out of a slow song (see I’m Sorry, Come Back To Me Shawty, Gotta Get You and the best Better To Know and Better Than Sex). As Tyrese sings; “what a joy it is/to be loved by you” his inspired happiness is infectious on record.
Nothing On You and One Night give a rich, deep middle to this complete piece right before the upbeat It’s All On Me turns it up a smooth notch ready for the club. Gibson keeps getting bigger on the track Takeover before lamenting over lost love over horns on the classic feeling I Miss That Girl. Make Love is a laid back number tailor made for the bedroom, while the Candace assisted Angel awakens love further. Longtime collaborator and genre leader and legend R. Kelly produces another gem for his great R&B protegee. To close the album, Tyrese writes further, penning a poem for his fans on Walk. It’s clear this author is going beyond the autobiography to turn a creative page.
Tyrese has always released great albums and the first R&B disc of his last effort (Alter-Ego) was a classic. Now years and movies later, this superstar shows another side with his most complete album to date. It’s focused, fresh and evokes fond feeling. Right now, it can’t get better for this man in Hollywood and even the book world, and finally Tyrese may be where he needs to be in music – at the top. In the thank you, linear notes of best-friend and group-mate Ginuwine’s 2003 classic The Senior, Gin wrote that “the game owes” Tyrese. Now finally with this ‘Invitation’ hopefully Tyrese Gibson will get the returns he deserves. It’s time for everyone to open up. They’ve been invited.