Diddy-Dirty Money's 'Last Train to Paris': Read EW's review

_DiddyImage Credit: Travis ShinnPeople chuckled when Diddy announced that his next project would be a concept album about a tempestuous relationship played out on Europe’s international rail system. They laughed when he declared that his ambitions were so vast, no existing genre could hold him. “I’m ushering in a new movement called ‘train music,’” the hip-hop mogul boasted in one press release. That was in February 2009, and the snickers only got louder each time he subsequently pushed back the disc’s release date. Now Last Train to Paris is finally pulling into the station, and here’s the funniest thing about it: Diddy has followed through on every crazy promise and then some, resulting in his best work in years.

“Train music” turns out to be a highly danceable strain of hip-hop, with at least as much singing as rapping. Diddy isn’t the only one working loosely similar territory these days — just ask the Black Eyed Peas, Drake, or even Kanye West — but Last Train‘s glittery grooves feel authentically his own. It’s the sound of his 2007 hit “Last Night,” an electro-laced torch duet with Keyshia Cole, blown out to album length.

Perhaps realizing that he can’t quite pull off this feat all by himself, Diddy gives equal billing to two singers, Kalenna and ex-Danity Kane member Dawn Richard. The female two-thirds of Diddy-Dirty Money flesh out Last Train‘s skeletal storyline, playing jealous lovers, disappointed partners, and commanding divas to his conflicted playboy. Assorted suave fellows, including Usher, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and T.I., help fill out his side of the conversation.

As that partial guest list might suggest, this is a very crowded ride. The sheer number of cameos overwhelms the narrative conceit after a while, around the moment when Justin Timberlake inexplicably starts rapping about X-Men characters (“Shades”). But who really cares? By that time, you just might be enjoying yourself way too much to notice. B+

DOWNLOAD THESE:
Hyperactive banger “Yeah Yeah You Would”
Club summons “Ass on the Floor”
Redemptive ballad “Coming Home”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix)

More from EW.com:
Saturday Night Live recap: Robert De Niro and Diddy-Dirty Money
Diddy, Lil Wayne, Justin Timberlake collab “Shades” hits Web

Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • skip

    Yes diddy keep getting that dirty money for real boyboy!!!
    Ps biggie era

  • DaDude

    diddy is a gotdang cornball
    real talk

    • Clayton

      Hate is for SUCKAS!

      • Julia Love

        He is amazing and UKDateSite was great

  • Bree

    I honestly like the girls of “Dirty Money” better than Diddy. I hope they come out with an album of their own or at least Dawn Richards because he voice is bangin! I do have to say that the songs that Dirty Money has come out with so far I do like.

    • Brett

      Amen, Bree. Dawn deserves her own album. Let’s hope Diddy’s just planning on using this as a launching pad for her.

      • Brett

        Dawn’s the only reason I’m considering buying it.

  • Bree

    I honestly like the girls of “Dirty Money” better than Diddy. I hope they come out with an album of their own or at least Dawn Richards because her voice is bangin! I do have to say that the songs that Dirty Money has come out with so far I do like.

  • bijan

    Im proud of these girls. They had to be constantly overshadowed by diddy yet still worked hard enough to pull a nice album together

  • Clayton

    The album really surprised me, it truly is a great album. Ok not great as in A but it’s Definitely a B+

  • Gina Vera

    I use to love Diddy and Danity Kane now thid mix I don’t know. Danity Kane rocked why couldn’t we get another DK album and skip this mess.

  • Horatio Jones

    Diddy/Puffy/Douchey or whatever he calls himself these days, he’s just ripping off David Guetta and god forbid the Peas. This CD is DOA. Just go back to sipping your Ciroc and fade into oblivion.

  • Caryn

    After the horrible performances on SNL, I can’t believe this cd is even close to good.

  • Ai

    Rolo Tomasi, you are a deebag. Take your racist bs elsewhere douc he.

  • shulandris lawson

    hi dirty money

  • nish

    soooo happy for this album. they worked soooooo hard on this nd i’m proud of kalenna cause she’s come sooooo far nd dawn too…glad to c kalenna doing her thing…<3

  • extrarandom

    I cant say that I like ANY of it. I just hope Dawn gets a check out of this…or at least some free shoes.

  • keshajo

    I’m tired of Diddy taking over the game with no talent…he only uses others to make himself shine. It may be a good album, but not because of him…it’s because of others’ contributions. This is just a soundtrack/compilation CD with his little Bad Boy “uh-huh” and thank God for Auto-Tune!!! I wish he would just stay behind the sound board!

  • Shameca

    I completely respect Diddy and his hustle. Obviously It doesn’t matter if he has or doesn’t have talent. The man is smart. He is his own biggest and best promoter and that equals dollars. He is passionate and persistent about what he does and that means success. I personally love Diddy… drinking my Ciroc Coconut and pineapple juice to that. ;-) Bigups Diddy!

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