Jamie Foxx makes everything look easy.
The Oscar winner can switch between actor, singer, stand-up comic and impersonator so effortlessly that it's almost hard to believe. That's a great skill to have in all those careers, except R&B singer, where slick doesn't play well, but struggling does.
On "Best Night of My Life" (J), Foxx gets a little closer to letting folks see him sweat, but not too much. The album is set up like a night on the town. There's a short warm-up in the title track, a bunch of club bangers about finding a special lady and then a string of ballads designed to romance said lady, ending with "Rejoice," on which Foxx croons, "Unwrap my body like I'm your birthday gift." The up-tempo "All Said and Done" wraps things up, presumably signaling that we're going to start the cycle all over again.
It's all a neat bit of sequencing, though it's often Foxx's collaborators that bring out his best, as if he needs someone to pace him. Justin Timberlake and T.I. help make "Winner" work. Rick Ross and, more important, a sample of The Notorious B.I.G. from "Big Poppa," are the actual stars of "Living Better Now." And "Yep Dat's Me" finds Foxx slipping into the cadences of Soulja Boy, who is on the track with Ludacris.
Apparently, using the it-takes-a-village approach works, because "Best Night of My Life" is Foxx's best album so far.