Country : United States Label : Empire / Nappy Boy Genres and styles : Hip Hop / Neo-Soul / Nu Soul / R&B Year : 2023

T-Pain – On Top of the Covers

· by CCJ Gabriel

On Top of the Covers is T-Pain’s seventh studio album, his first in four years, and is composed of cover songs from various musical genres. T-Pain blew these covers away for the most part and needs to be acknowledged for his contributions to R&B as a whole. Before I highlight some of the highs and lows of the project, it should be noted: auto-tune isn’t all over every song. T-Pain can really sing and this joint demonstrates his pure skills as a vocalist. 

Teddy crushes his cover of “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, and he pours every ounce of himself into his rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey,” pun intended. The “Don’t Stop Believin’” cover comes across very karaoke-ish, which isn’t necessarily a knock, it’s just one of those songs everyone tries to or thinks they can sing. One of my personal all-time favorite songs ever made is Frank Sinatra’s version of “That’s Life,” which is a cover itself. T-Pain’s rendition on this album wasn’t my favorite among all the iterations that exist out there, but it was enjoyable no less. “That’s Life” is also the only song on this project including a feature in NandoSTL. 

On Top of the Covers features a purely instrumental track that sort of acts like an interlude in the middle of the project called “Skrangs (in K Major Sus)”. I’m unsure who composed and produced this track, but it’s quite pleasant and rolls directly into the next song “Stay With Me,” which T-Pain sings better than Sam Smith, in my humble opinion.

The best song on the project, bar none, was saved for last. T-Pain does a cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and my goodness he delivers everything on this track, and more. Even Black Sabbath’s original bassist Geezer Butler gave this version his approval.

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