Press Play

Press Play

4.2 5
by P. Diddy
     
 

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Ever the pop culture vulture, Diddy (if he keeps shortening his moniker, by his next album it will be Did) opens his first disc in five years with an intro thanking his fans for supporting him to the beat of Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels." But will listeners fall head over heels for Press Play? Well, whether they'll go tumbling for him or not, the disc will

Overview

Ever the pop culture vulture, Diddy (if he keeps shortening his moniker, by his next album it will be Did) opens his first disc in five years with an intro thanking his fans for supporting him to the beat of Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels." But will listeners fall head over heels for Press Play? Well, whether they'll go tumbling for him or not, the disc will pleasantly surprise those convinced that Puff's flow will never rival Jay-Z's and those expecting his ego to be as sky-high as ever (after all, on the abbreviated, horn-sampled "I Am," he defiantly raps, "Never no losses/ I'm a winner / The boss of all bosses"). The beat-savvy Press Play boasts production credits by Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Rich Harrison and features top-shelf guest appearances by Christina Aguilera (the club-ready "Tell Me"), Mary J. Blige (the percussive "Everything I Love"), Jamie Foxx (the slow jam "Partners for Life"), and Pussycat Dolls front woman Nicole Scherzinger (the electro-pop lead single "Come to Me"). Although the 19-track disc is too long, from the sped-up, Mario Winans-helmed "Thought You Said," featuring Brandy, to the Timbaland-concocted, synth-laden "After Love," featuring promising newcomer Keri, Press Play is definitely worth a spin.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Diddy spent the five years since the release of his previous solo album making (and shelving) a gospel album, dabbling (or flailing) in dance music, running in the New York City Marathon, developing a perfume called (almost unbelievably) Unforgivable, and undoubtedly doing many other important things. His Bad Boy empire settled into a severe lull until the summer of 2006, when Yung Joc's "It's Going Down," Cassie's "Me&U," and the Danity Kane album revived the label. Press Play is well timed, and it's also well endowed: the roster of collaborators and guests is both extensive and impressive enough to entice the severely Diddy-resistant. Peculiarly enough, Diddy's practically the opening act on his own album. During the first several tracks, he's the dominant voice, dishing out the expected variations on his wildly hubristic boasts of old, and that includes a baffling gritted-teeth threat like "America, fall back, you can't stop me/Got a thing for pigeon-toed chicks who walk knock-kneed." On his own, he does not deliver. Around track six, the guests begin to take over the 80-minute program, and the album morphs into a theatrical examination of love and romance that is partly randomized but mostly tremendous. Apparently inspired by his relationships with ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez and his wife, Diddy and his shifting cast of fellow songwriters/producers pen a series of songs -- you could almost call it a suite -- emboldened by a round of knockout performances from several women. Multi-threat up-and-comer Keri Hilson (watch for her), Brandy, Keyshia Cole, and Mary J. Blige all take lead roles and make up the heart of the album. This last half-hour of the album, with the exception of a couple instances where Diddy could've left everything in the hands of the vocalists, teeters on the edge of brilliance. Timbaland (with partner Nathanial "Danja" Hill) and Mario Winans (with Diddy) deliver robust, imaginative productions that lay the majority of modern-day R&B tracks to waste (glints of left-field dance music and the new wave that inspired it are incorporated to great effect), while Rich Harrison expectedly and thrillingly blends the blaring with the lush behind Blige. The rest of the album is worth talking about, as it involves noteworthy appearances from Christina Aguilera, Ciara, Nas, Big Boi, Cee-Lo, and several others, but it's less risky and not nearly as remarkable as the closing stretch. All told, the number of memorable hooks on display here is surprising.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
The best songs surround Diddy's clumsy verses with inventive beats.
Billboard - Jeff Vrabel
A solid and often appealing party jam.
Washington Post - Dan Charnas
He may be, as he says on his new album, "hard to love," yet Diddy has a certain genius -- and it's clearly on display in "Press Play." He knows what rocks the dance floor.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2008
Label:
Atlantic Uk
UPC:
0075679357526
catalogNumber:
793575

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

P. Diddy   Primary Artist
Betty Wright   Vocals
John Blackwell   Drums
Emilio Castillo   Tenor Saxophone
Stephen "Doc" Kupka   Baritone Saxophone
Rob Lewis   Conductor,fender rhodes
Mario Winans   Drums,Keyboards,Overdubs
David Woodford   Tenor Saxophone
Brandy   Vocals
Sarah Rosete   Vocals
Ethan Farmer   Bass
Ervin Pope   Keyboards
Adolfo Acosta   Trumpet
Jack Knight   Vocals,Background Vocals
will.i.am   Keyboards
Brian Frazier Moore   Drums
Shannon "Slam" Lawrence   Vocals
Christina Aguilera   Vocals
Nicole Scherzinger   Vocals
Charile "CSUN" Bereal   Guitar
Ed Goldson   Bass
Angela Hunte   Vocals
Keenan "Kee Note" Holloway   Bass
Mike Bogart   Trombone,Trumpet
Mabvuto Carpenter   Vocals
Kristal "Tytewriter" Oliver   Vocals,Background Vocals
Cheri Dennis   Vocals
Katrinia Carson   Background Vocals
Chally Dogg   Drums
Iyanna Dean   Vocals,Background Vocals
Precious Harrison   Vocals
Arden Keys   Keyboards
Mika Lett   Vocals
Ms. Mia   Harp
Shay Winans   Vocals,Background Vocals
D. Woods   Vocals
Mike Winans   Vocals
Stacy Lamont Sydnor   Percussion
Tower Of Power Horns   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Betty Wright   Vocal Arrangements,Vocal Producer
Curt Smith   Composer
Katreese Barnes   Horn Arrangements
Sean "Puffy" Combs   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Audio Production,Vocal Producer
Berry Gordy   Composer
Patrice Holloway   Composer
Shannon Jones   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Rob Lewis   Arranger,Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Audio Production,Vocal Producer,String Conductor
Peter Mokran   Vocal Mixing
Roland Orzabal   Composer
Jerry Peters   Composer
Mario Winans   Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Vocal Producer,Instrumentation,Additional Music
Andrew Wright   Engineer
Johnny Pate   Composer
Jeff Lane   Engineer
K-Def   Audio Production
Havoc   Producer,Audio Production
Timbaland   Producer
Kevin Crouse   Engineer
Ethan Farmer   Arranger
Deborah Mannis-Gardner   Sample Clearance
Pharrell Williams   Composer
Jack Knight   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
will.i.am   Producer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Neptunes   Producer
Shannon "Slam" Lawrence   Composer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Kanye West   Composer,Producer
Oscar Ramirez   Engineer
Anthony Kilhoffer   Engineer
Fredrick "Toxic" Taylor   Engineer
Will Adams   Composer
J. Smith   Producer,Audio Production
J.D. Andrew   Engineer
Brenda Davis   Composer
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
S.C.   Producer
Rich Harrison   Composer,Producer
Nicole Scherzinger   Composer
Chris Carmouche   Engineer
Pierre Medor   Vocal Producer
Angela Hunte   Composer
Keri Hilson   Composer
Eric Wong   Marketing
Padraic Kerin   Engineer
Robert Gold   Art Manager
Nasir "Nas" Jones   Composer
Kejuan Muchita   Composer
Andrew Geel   Engineer,overdub engineer
Sean Garrett   Composer,Vocal Producer
Patrick Fong   Art Direction
Jon Spurgeon   Engineer
Victor Abijaudi   Engineer
Geno Sims   Vocal Arrangements
Joel Pargman   String Contractor
Jayceon Taylor   Composer
Ryan Montgomery   Composer
Kae Dee   Producer,Engineer
Fr   Composer
Harve "Joe Hooker" Pierre   Executive Producer
Jim Beanz   Engineer,Vocal Producer
Devon Barber "Press"   Engineer
Steve "Rock Star" Dickey   Engineer
Christopher Gilbert "Fly"   Engineer
Giz   Engineer
Grind Music   Producer
Michael Carlos Jones   Vocal Arrangements
Pierre Jones   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Leroy Watson   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Kevin "Kev-O" Wilson   Engineer
Shay Winans   Composer
Mike Winans   Composer,Vocal Producer
Terrence "Scar" Smith   Composer
Stephen Garrett   Composer
Andrew Wright   Engineer
David Brown   Engineer
Marcella Araica   Engineer
Rob Gold   Art Manager

Customer Reviews

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Press Play 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Step right up, Ladies and Gentleman! This game is fun and easy. It’s called How Many Hits: Featuring Diddy’s Press Play. Hey, you in the Sean John shirt. Yeah, you! Check it out. Guess how many tracks – including interludes and intros – are good on Diddy’s new joint. There are nineteen tracks in total. Think about Diddy’s accomplishments, but don’t forget his reputation for having mediocre rap skills. Guess right, and win a prize. Three bucks to play. Think you can stump me? “Ok. N-no, uhhhhh no problem. Six?” Wrong, sorry. There are thirteen. Thanks for playing, though “Wait a minute. Thirteen? That’s pretty good.” Yes, that’s pretty good. Press Play is a surprisingly listenable effort from Diddy (formerly P.Diddy, Puff, and Puff Daddy), but the CD is not without some flaws. “Pretty good” isn’t remarkable after all. But here is why the CD is worth purchasing: Sean Combs (pardon the use of his given name here) has a movie director’s ability to draw, feature, and produce talent. He also has an adept ability to bring symphonic quality to beat making. He puts a certain stamp on his productions … and I’m not talking about his dependence upon samples. Listen carefully to the track entitled The Future. It builds like a music street war, and could destroy any recent track from any another artist that would happen to get near it. It also has its own cheering section (that will make sense when you hear it). Even his struggle to rap competently here is overshadowed by the force of the music itself. It is almost its own entity. Then there is the club-ready hit Diddy Rock, which features Timbaland, Twista, and Shawna. Each performer on this track offers dead on rhyme delivery, and even Diddy seems to keep up. Another undeniable hit is the song Everything I Love. This song again demonstrates his movie director ability to assemble music talent. He features Nas and Cee-Lo, and he puts them in a position to succeed amongst a pulse-pounding beat, perfect horns, and even organ parts that somehow work. And, again, he manages to sound competent himself. The album also features performances by Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Brandy, and even Jamie Foxx. Think about it. He got all of these people to guest on his album!!!!!!! But it isn’t all good. There is bad news, too. The bad news is that the CD samples Prince’s When Doves Cry (including his majesty’s signature shouts) on a song called Special Feeling, which features Mika Lett. This is a disappointment, and this Mike Lett attempts to sound a little like Prince at times. Not only is this a dangerous risk, but it seems doomed to fail … and as far as I’m concerned, it did. A track called Through the Pain (She Told Me), which features Mario Winans, suffers from a certain R&B familiarity that makes it less than it could be … although it wouldn’t surprise me if it ended up being a radio single anyway. Lastly, We Gon’ Make It is a song that, well doesn’t make it – not even remotely. Diddy seems content to shout phrases like “I told you I was gonna be somebody” and “you created this monster,” while Jack Knight sings his parts in a seemingly uninspired way. This track is a bit of a mess. Overall though, this CD has many things to like about it. It is a very nice surprise.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like this album. Its probably Diddy's best album so far. Pay attention to tracks like "The Future" and "Tell Me" with Christina Aguilera.“Still the man can orchestrate a mass-market pop phenomenon. Press Play has something for most everyone: street raps, club jams, glossy R&B.”- Entertainment Weekly A must have for any music fan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What more can I say. He is one of the best. End of story. This album is smooth clean.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago