Thr33 Ringz

  • Record Label: Jive
  • Release Date: Nov 11, 2008
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Detailing his fidelity on one track, elongating a lap dance on another, he's a decent guy in conceptual command of an aesthetic he invented.
  2. He has a point, though, and on Thr33 Ringz, his third album, he makes the case for his misunderstood genius.
  3. 80
    Since his 2005 debut, T-Pain has seen his Auto-Tuned swagger jacked by everyone from Kanye to Lil Wayne, but he has kept his sound fresh with a bottomless bag of hooks and a grainy rasp that the computers can’t buff away.
  4. On Thr33 Ringz, more than ever, that robotic voice is just part of an effort to reconcile cold technology and warm soul.
  5. The third album from T-Pain, Thr33 Ringz, finds him once again attempting to master the triple threats--rapping, singing and producing. That it turns out to be incredibly formulaic and slavishly apes his sophomore effort ("Epiphany") proves only to be a minor deterrent, since almost everything here is upscaled.
  6. Ringz won't convert any non-believers, but for fans (auto) tuned into Pain's gleefully synthetic, excessive wavelength, he continues to deliver the guiltiest of pleasures.
  7. So if Thr33 Ringz fails to shock, consider also that it fails to disappoint.
  8. Thr33 Ringz shows what sets T-Pain apart. He's an inventive producer, enveloping radio-friendly hooks in Auto-Tune wackiness.
  9. Like a garish version of his label boss Akon, he's a singer/songwriter/producer who doesn't evolve much over this avalanche of releases and guest shots, but Thr33 Ringz proves he's much more aware of his limitations.
  10. Even when veering wildly away from good sense--and 'Change' is hardly a sensical move--there’s an unwitting pop hit right around the bend.
  11. T-Pain saves his finest moment for his clients, but Thr33 Ringz' humour is still superbly crass and mostly enjoyable, especially when allied with the skittering beats and post-funk bounce of 'Freeze,' or the ominous chants and booming drums of 'Karaoke.'
  12. Like Pain's guest spots, the album's all over the place, from forlorn strip-club love numbers to songs that sound like Jodeci slow jams converted to digital.
  13. 'Ringleader Man,' remind you that whatever his vocal limitations, T-Pain has reintroduced the idea of melody to urban music, which is no small feat. However, predictable overkill of both the signature AutoTune warble and guest stars (Ludacris, Ciara, Akon, et al) obscures that accomplishment.
  14. Thr33 Ringz emerges as such a polished and self-fulfilling collection of hip-pop singles that it almost makes one wonder why T-Pain insists on drawing attention to the most derivative aspect of his musical career at the expense of some of his other, modest but real talents.
  15. If you already hate him, nothing on this disc will change your mind. But some surprisingly creative moments throughout the album will likely inspire hundreds of clones over the next year.
  16. 50
    With a hot guest list (Ciara, T.I.), this is bound to bump the clubs, but beyond that, it's clown time.
  17. What this record ultimately boils down to is whether or not you’re tired of the incessant vocoder effect. If you are, this really isn’t for you. But if it’s little more than a mainstream trend, T-Pain does it better than anyone.

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