Wednesday 7 December 2016

Music: Diddy-Dirty Money - Last train to Paris * * *

(Interscope)
Guest do Diddy proud

Published 21/01/2011 | 05:00

The clunky moniker suggests this is no ordinary Sean "Diddy" Combs project.

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Instead, it's a group effort featuring the man himself and hand-picked singers Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper. And it's been a very long time in gestation.

A concept album, it concerns Combs's alter ego travelling to Paris in the hope of rekindling an old flame and the story unfolds in an unwieldy fashion over 16 tracks.

While few will be surprised that Combs's brand of R&B-inflected hip-hop is intact, eyebrows may be raised with the way he embraces electronica, euro-disco and old-school techno. The sonic palate is sprawling, but the results are mixed.

Curiously for a man not shy about hogging the limelight, Diddy takes a back seat. Richard and Harper are fine without truly impressing, but it's the staggering array of guests that make the venture worthwhile.

Rick Ross's gruff vocals elevate Hello Good Morning, while Justin Timberlake's cod rapping lends a playful sheen to Shades.

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