After numerous delays, the third album from R&B crooner Mario, “Go!” will be released on August 27th. The album formerly titled Mario Barrett was originally set to be released on November 26, 2006 but after a long series of delays will finally see the store shelves soon. In that time R&B albums from younger stars such as Omarion and Ne-Yo have taken the limelight off of Mario, will he be able to finally break into the mainstream and stay there or will his album be like his previous project which failed from overall quality of music and lackluster promotion?
The album sets Mario up in the right direction pairing him with talented producers and songwriters like Timbaland, Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, StarGate, Polow Da Don, Krucial Keys, Ne-Yo and Akon. This helps to tame one of Mario’s biggest problems; unlike his peers Mario barely writes. But with talented hit-makers behind him he doesn’t have to worry about that. This let’s Mario focus on his most important talent his voice. On “Go!” the vocal growth of Mario is evident. Although he was always one of the most talented young vocalists, Mario has now reached a league of his own compared to his auto-tuned peers.
The first single off of the Baltimore natives album “Go!” is the mid-tempo song “How Do I Breathe?” produced by power producers StarGate. The song seems a little bland and just remains pretty unimpressive until the bridge. On the bridge Mario delivers a great vocal performance along with StarGate’s impressive music and writing ability. The song talks about Mario finding everything difficult now that he’s not with the one he loves. A remix featuring rappers Fabolous and Cassidy is also featured on the album but doesn’t add a whole lot to the song.
The probable second single off of “Go!” is “Crying Out For Me” produced by super producer Polow Da Don. On the song Mario plays the role of superman trying to save his girl from her yearning heart. The song is another mid-tempo and showcases Mario’s vastly improving vocals.
On the title track “Go!” Mario switches his style up completely. With help from Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, Mario is able to talk about more grown-up topics on this high energy dance track. Overall this is the stand out track on the album and shows how much creativity can be achieved by working with the most talented producers and writers.
On the Timbaland produced “No Definition”, Mario talks about having a relationship that has no definition. The beat and the lyrics are basic Timbaland and this song has chart topping potential.
On “Kryptonite” featuring Alabama rapper Rich Boy, Mario explains how other girls are his kryptonite and he has a hard time staying away from them. The song grows on you and could be another potential single.
“Why” produced by True Star Production and written by The KnightWritaz is another mid-tempo potential hit which features one of Mario’s strongest vocal performances on the album.
“What Is It Gonna Be” produced by R&B singer Ne-Yo has an old school feel. Although it is not as commercial as their previous tag-team effort “Let Me Love You” from Mario’s last album “Turning Point”, the song sounds like an old school vibe and should quiet all the rumors of beef between Mario and Ne-Yo.
Mario’s “Go!” is a well produced and written album and lets Mario focus on what he does best and that is singing. As Mario is soon to be 21 his album covers a more mature group of topics which he has previously left completely alone. Overall “Go!’ gets 8.5 out of 10 for a very good R&B album. Go get it when it’s released on August 27th.