Sound — 6
"Underground Luxury" has spawned 5 singles preceding the album release, which includes "We Still in This B-tch," "HeadBand," "Ready," "All I Want," and "John Doe." The first single, "We Still in This B-tch," was released in January 2013 to give you an idea of how long B.o.B has been working on this album. All of these singles are the most "pop" and "club" oriented tracks from the album. There are 15 tracks from the album and a total runtime of 57 minutes.
"All I Want" opens the album up talking about money is all that B.o.B wants. The beats on this track were created by Rock City and Cam Wallace. "One Day" has a piano driven beat and the verses are about B.o.B Thinking about all the things he would have "one day" and how far he has come sine growing up poor. "Paper Route" is the next track, and one of my favorite tracks from the album – on this track B.o.B is actually rapping about his beliefs about things, which you have to respect whether you agree with him or not. Next up is "Ready," which features Future. This track is really doing that same thing that Lil' Wayne does with a lot of his tracks where the vocals are severely slurred and auto-tuned. "Throwback" features Chris Brown and is definitely just a club track. "Back Me Up" is a slower track with a fairly generic sounding beat, but definitely has a lot of hook to it. "Coastline" is possibly the most cerebral track on the album, as it explores the nature of B.o.B's life and where he is and what he has accomplished. The beat is also one of the most interesting of the album. "Wide Open" features Ester Dean and is actually referring to female anatomy, and for some context the hook as sung by Ester Dean is, "bust it wide open/ let you see what I'm working with." "FlyMuthaFucka" is a guitar driven beat with a T808 style percussion beat playing with it. "HeadBand" features 2 Chainz and the beat is predominantly built around an audio sample or MIDI whistling. "John Doe," which features Priscilla Ranea, is about the persona or façade that an artist has to take on in order to be famous and drug addiction as a side effect of that, and whether it is possible to remove the façade at the end of the day. "Cranberry Moon Walk" is a weird track, with a very delayed guitar riff and borderline psychedelic/funk vocals and beat throughout the track. "Crandberry Moon Walk" features Mike Fresh. "Nobody Told Me" is another track primarily piano driven and which attempts more depth than most of the other tracks, with the line "Nobody told me money don't make you rich/ and if it did then I'm missing something." "Forever" is up next, featuring Playboy Tre, with possibly one of my favorite beats from the album, but the hook and verses are nothing special. The album closes out with the track "We Still in This B-tch," which features T.I. and Juicy J, and was originally released as a single almost a year ago in January of 2013. At the end of the album there were a few tracks that stood out, but mostly I left unimpressed. The problem being that there are a lot of rappers doing exactly the same thing that B.o.B is doing these days.
Lyrics — 7
B.o.B has been very successful, especially after the release of "The Adventures of Bobby Ray," and this has been due to both his "dirty south" sound, as well as his oddness that helps him stand out amongst his competition. The many guest artists featured on the album definitely help with the "curb appeal" to the album. The many guests include Future, Chris Brown, Ester Dean, 2 Chainz, Priscilla Renea, Mike Fresh, Playboy Tre, T.I., and Juicy J. As a sample of the lyrics from the album, here are some vocals from the track "One Day": "I know one day/ I won't have to wait in line/ I know one day/ I'm gone get those keys to that new ride/ I know one day I'll be fine/ and I know one day I'll get mine/ and I know one day, hell it might be Monday/ I remember thinking man I need a decent ride/ and I'm gonna have to ask my mom for keys to drive/ with my brother riding in an old Cutlass/ a black and mild lit with the whole roof busted/ well who knows maybe one day we'll have a little more/ we'll finally shop somewhere else besides the corner store/ my little sister says she got to have a new pair of drawers/ but right now they'd probably stop us before we hit the door/ my uncle says that's the way it is where we come from/ and if it weren't for bad luck we wouldn't have none/ hard to tell the good days from the bad ones/ if I could catch a shooting star I would grab one/ I would grab one for real."
Overall Impression — 6
In interviews preceding the release of this album, B.o.B has stated there is a little bit of everything from club music to more "cerebral" and "transcendental" tracks. I don't know if I would call anything on here "transcendental," but there are definitely a few tracks that have some deep thought behind the verses. The problem for me is that these tracks are too few and far in between the "club" music. I don't have anything against "club" music, but it isn't my thing and not what I look for in hip-hop music. My favorite tracks from the album would have to be "Coastline" and "Paper Route." Honestly, I'm not really into any other tracks on this album - it is way too derivative of what everybody else is trying to do these days.