After much anticipation, Diddy has finally released Last Train to Paris. But was it worth it?
His latest reinvention of himself via the group Dirty Money features Dawn Richards from the defunk Danity Kane and Kelenna Harper. On his website, Diddy writes that “Last Train to Paris’’ is something of a concept album, inspired by a tumultous, trans-Atlantic relationship with a woman he met on tour in Europe. On a foggy night in London, the only way for him to reach her was by — you guessed it — the last train to Paris. If you can’t read between the lines, this isn’t your average hip-hop album. There are influences of pop and techno sprinkled all the way through.
While Dirty Money is indeed a group, Diddy is the only member that really matters. Sure Dawn and Kalenna’s voices compliment every track, however Diddy is the glue and that becomes clear as Usher (“Looking for Love”) and Chris Brown (“I Know”) slip in seamlessly. The two project in ways Diddy’s voice won’t allow. Even Justin Timberlake raps on “Shades.” While Justin’s cameo is slightly shaky, Usher’s and Chris’ are good enough to make you wonder if the cameos sent the concept astray. I mean in theory there are two young ladies already there to give strong vocals.
Other gems include the latest single “Hello (Good Morning).” The dance track is contagious. Swizz Beatz earns his paycheck on “Ass on the Floor” while “I Hate That You Love Me,” produced by Rodney Jerkins, is effectively a house record, with Diddy moaning, “Are we living in vain, or are we living in pain?”
Overall, Dirty Money met their destination. Will they survive long-enough for a round trip? That remains to be seen.