http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/1f7680b0da4945c33bb8be1cdae58f0ef92cee62.jpg Todd Smith

LL Cool J

Todd Smith

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 1 0
April 18, 2006

They say money can buy you friends, and it's bought thirty-eight-year-old LL Cool J age-defying hit collabos before. But, damn, this is just too much: Eight of thirteen tracks on Todd Smith qualify as slow-jam duets (the cavalcade of candy-ass co-stars including Ne-Yo, 112, Ginuwine and Jamie Foxx), and none of them has a sweat droplet of the appeal of 1987's LL-as-Lothario classic "I Need Love." "My flavor's unreal/Smooth but hard/Like wood grain on the wheel," he fibs rather fecklessly on "Favorite Flavor," while Mary J. Blige oohs ornamentally over what sounds like a fistful of wet-naps fed into a juicer. The motivation behind team-ups like "It's LL and Santana" — that's Juelz, not Carlos — feels equally transparent, leaving one wondering whatever happened to the immortal MC who could carry an album by himself without needing a breath.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »