Mike Jones introduces his new album much the way he did his first - he even provides a new cell number for fans to hit up. "Swagger Right" kicks The Voice off to an inauspicious start, though the subsequent "Houston Oilers" is decidedly more entertaining with as both Jones and the production he raps over sound much more engaging. "Boi!" definitely follows the blueprint of Lil Wayne's "A Milli," but still - it hits incredibly hard. This one's for people with subs, folks.
"Cuddy Buddy" must be the five-thousandth T-Wayne feature, with Jim Jonsin, Bigg D and Twista. Fortunately, Twista and Jones (who does a damn good job keeping up with the Chi-Town rapper) keep the song from being a disaster, despite Wayne's best efforts to ruin it. "I Know" is some more cookie-cutter catering to the ladies, though it's decidedly better due to Trey Songz' considerable singing ability.
"Give Me a Call" employs the services of the always-hilarious Devin the Dude, who definitely channels "Fuck You." Though not on the level of the Dr. Dre classic, Jones and Devin provide a fitting ode to the booty call. The third time's a charm, it seems, as Jones finally nails the "thug love song" with "Next to You." "Swagg Thru da Roof" is another Auto-Tune debacle - even Mike jumps partakes in it for the halfhearted song.
Throughout the course of the album, Mike Jones is hell-bent on reminding us that he went double-platinum in '05. Unfortunately, rap just doesn't sell like it used to - and someone needs give Jones the memo. With throwaway tracks like "Happy Birthday" and "Scandalous Hoes II," he's going to have to do much better if he wants to get back on top. "Hate on Me" and "Grandma II" close out the album, and illustrate that when interested, Mike can kick an thoughtful verse. On the former, he rhymes, "...came from nothin' to somethin'/I ain't get no handouts, got mine from hustlin'/Hustlin' from nothin' to somethin', I had to get it/No time to play with it/My money, I was committed/And when I got my paper I split it/With everybody that was down with it/But all of the sudden, everyone start hatin'/...when people needed money, they holla'd at me.../I put everybody on their feet, and this is how ya'll turn around and treat me?"
In the past, Jones showed some self-awareness when he said "back then hoes didn't want me/Now I'm hot hoes all on me." Now, he's flipped the script and now almost exclusively catering women with halfhearted and predictable slow grind anthems. Mike Jones may have been able to shed some pounds, but he still hasn't figured out how to trim the excess from his albums. Instead of relying upon the gimmicks that made him famous in the first place, Mike Jones should focus on giving the fans a new reason to care about who he is.