Focus-grouped, paranoid and please-all
The three-day, nine-email saga NME went through to hear an official sampler of BoB’s second album and follow-up to ‘The Adventures Of Bobby Ray’ was put in perspective when the album’s centrepiece ‘Both Of Us’, a collaboration with Taylor Swift, leaked this week. The song is a mulch of BoB’s bright, boring ad-rap and Swift’s talent for heartland torch songs, and that same mashing of styles serves for the street-sounding bits (‘Strange Clouds’) and the arena-sounding bits (‘Never Let You Go’ featuring OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder). The restrictions, the leak, the conservatism of the music… it’s a numbers game. Like the album, it’s focus-grouped, paranoid and please-all.