With his name permanently etched as a powerhouse in the R&B history books, eight-time Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and producer Tank has earned a reel of songwriting [writing for fellow R&B artists Omarion, Keri Hilson, Jennifer Hudson & more] and production credits as an associate member of production team The Underdogs throughout his blossoming career.
Having moved from Barry Hankerson’s Blackground record label to Atlantic Records in 2010, the singer placed his focus back onto his own material serving up a new album, Now or Never, and mixtape, Diary Of A Mad Black Man. Two years on from his last LP, the ‘underrated’ R&B novice brings the world his fifth studio album, This Is How I Feel.
Promising to bring the perfect balance of R&B on the album with something for everyone, the singer brings together a host of top name producers on the album including hit maker Danja, rapper and occasional singer Kevin McCall [who features on bonus track ‘Crazy’] T-Minus and Troy Taylor.
Known least for his upbeat attempts, the Milwaukee native artist calls upon fellow R&B stud and frequent collaborator Chris Brown to feature on the opening ‘Lonely.’ Avoiding a barrage of lyrics about throwing money away on a good night out, the two join together to sing of a long lost love who is of more value.
With one of his body-moving tracks out of the way, we are treated to ‘Your One’ where Tank makes an honest and unpretentious plea to the world about his fame and fortune to win the heart of a special lady. Getting comfortable with club-friendly sounds the track is followed by lead single ‘Compliments,’ featuring Atlanta’s very own T.I. and singer Kris Stephens who co-wrote several tracks on the album.
A classic R&B album isn’t complete without its fair share of interludes and This Is How I Feel doesn’t fail to provide; with interludes ahead of ‘Compliments’ and the Danja-produced title track. Never forgetting a song dedicated entirely to sexual pleasure we are treated to the bedroom motivation anthem ‘Don’t Give Up.’
Getting into the mood to seduce females all around the world we are treated to a boastful gloat in the form of ‘Nowhere.’ The mid-tempo club friendly track produced by the man himself features Cash Money representative Busta Rhymes on the third verse helping to create the party atmosphere in the comfort of the house instead of a club.
Strategically placing his ballads towards the finish, the tempo is taken down to its slowest pace towards the back end of the album. From falling head over heels in love to expressing his thoughts on heartbreak, ‘Next Breath’, the first visual to be taken from the album sets the back end of the project going.
We hear his heartfelt tale of accepting the loss of a good woman who has been won over by a better companion in ‘Better Me.’ Returning to the classic Piano-led ballad structure, Tank takes his influences from long time R&B singer Aaron Hall‘s ‘I Miss You’ to create ‘Lost It All,’ which the singer calls “A Bonnie and Clyde Situation…a gangster song with a twist.”
Keeping the essential elements of his music intact, Tank successfully combines elements of modern R&B with his long-heart talents for This Is How I Feel, giving ladies plenty to swoon over and men a few things to think about. With all the talk going on about whether R&B still has the strength that it held in the late ’90s, it’s safe to say that Tank is successfully helping to bringing the genre back to life with this project, with his effortless songwriting ability on show to the full.