The Top 50 Albums of Year 2010… #13 DIDDY & DIRTY MONEY “LTTP”
13. DIDDY & DIRTY MONEY “Last Train To Paris”
Well this came as a surprise, didn’t it?
It took 13 years for Sean Combs to reach his absolute musical heights with what is undoubtedly his finest collection of work. I’ve always found Diddy endearing, not only as an artist but also as a celebrity and pop cultural figure, one whose had some truly hallmark moments musically throughout his career but whose albums never got more than a listen or two on my CD player. But there’s nothing as remotely gratifying on any of his previous four albums as there is on “Last Train To Paris,” an album that marries traditional Hip-Hop elements with pure pop and european dance music (courtesy of the vocal talents behind ‘Dirty Money’, Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper), techno-foundations (obviously influenced by his time with revolutionary DJ Hell, particularly on the bombastic “Shades”, complete with an exciting rap from Justin Timberlake), 1980′s electronica and, most impressively so, large chunks of Italo-disco.
The influences aren’t suffocating though; this is still very much an Urban record that – intelligently so – references some of the greatest genres of our time. It’s the most creatively experimental thing Combs has put a moniker to in his thirteen-year span, and it glides along as effortlessly as it sounds it would.
Techno joins hip-hop in holy matrimony for “Someone To Love Me”, as the latter genre does with Italo on the sensational “Looking For Love”. Sweet eurobeats mesh with the gorgeous “Angels”, a proper high-point. There’s a bevy of guest appearances on here too; the aforementioned rap from Timberlake, Swizz Beats, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Lil’ Wayne, T.I. to name only a few, and of course, the almighty Grace Jones on the stellar “Yeah Yeah You Would”, a collaboration which should be enough to make you want to hear the entire album.
At this point the future of commercial-tinged hip-hop lies in the hands of three people; Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Sean Combs. “Last Train To Paris” does such a perfect job of reminding the world that Diddy’s more than just a champagne-sipping celebazon; he’s a bit of a musical visionary.