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4.2 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

DIDDY - DIRTY MONEY: Last Train to Paris

We're abroad on tour when I meet her, the woman of my dreams. We spend the night together, but I never get her name. When I wake up, she's gone.

I'm infatuated with her, really blown away. A couple of months go by, and I bump into her again on tour overseas. We get together, and we're inseparable for three months. We go to New York, Miami, all the places where I get it poppin'.

Then, suddenly, we have a misunderstanding and she just breaks out on me. But absence makes the heart grow fonder. We're in two different parts of the world and she's remembering all the good times while I'm thinking if I had another chance I wouldn't lose her again. One night in London, I get offstage at 9:45pm and I hear that she's in Paris. It's one of the foggiest nights, so I can't take my plane, I can't drive. The only way I can get to her is the last train to Paris...

This episode, inspired by a real-life encounter from his past, is the starting point of the new album Last Train to Paris by the Sean "Puffy" Combs' new group Diddy-Dirty Money. With dark, atmospheric beats and a cinematic back story, the new project represents an entirely new side of the rap impresario. Fans may think they know him, but as he prepares to unleash his latest smash, they are about to experience an entirely new Combs, and an entirely new sound. Diddy-Dirty Money is about to redefine dance music for the new decade.

Europe didn't just provide an evocative backdrop for the story that is Last Train to Paris, it also inspired the sound. Though Combs is known for his contribution to hip hop, he is also a passionate fan of dance music, often traveling to global hot spots like Ibiza and Berlin to take in the new sounds emerging from the techno scene. Blending elements of UK grime, Mediterranean techno and the 808s of American hip hop, the album represents a new sound that Combs calls "train music."

No stranger to the finer things, Combs amassed a crew of some of the top names in music to help him bring his vision to life. TI, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne all lend guest vocals, but the biggest contribution comes from band members Dawn Richard and Kalenna. "Dawn and I aren't background singers simply standing next to Diddy," says Kalenna. "Diddy-Dirty Money isn't just more of the same. It's an organic group that grew out of a shared passion for music."

Kalenna started writing songs at 11, when she would accompany her father--a rapper and army man--into the studio. As a military daughter, she moved often, living in diverse locations including Alaska, Germany and Hawaii. In music, she found a home for herself even as "home" was constantly changing. "Growing up, I understood how music can take you away and help you escape," she says. "At the same time I began learning how music brings people together; how it can heal and comfort." She eventually channeled her talent for songwriting into a successful career penning hits for Jill Scott, Jennifer Lopez, Timbaland and multi-platinum producer Rodney Jerkins.

Dawn Richard will be recognizable to fans as a member of the group Danity Kane, formed via the MTV series Making the Band 3. The New Orleans native grew up watching her father perform. A musician, choir director and former member of R&B group Chocolate Milk, he instilled in her a love of music, even as her tastes evolved. "I was more into alternative music," she says, naming influences including The Cranberries, Sheryl Crow and Green Day. "I saw myself as the leader of a rock band with pink hair, singing the music I love."

When Combs paired Richard and Kalenna together to write songs for Danity Kane in 2009, he knew immediately that he had a powerful new songwriting team, describing them as "kindred spirits." With so many far-reaching influences between them, combining forces as Dirty Money is nothing less than "divine intervention," says Richard. "We mirror each other. We're all perfectionists with a strong work ethic. We push and challenge each other."

The trio's unmatched creative chemistry reveals itself in the latest blockbuster single "Hello Good Morning". The group premiered the single in front of 25 million viewers on American Idol on March 31st. The high-energy track, with its urgent, atmospheric beats, was perfectly suited to an explosive performance with spectacular special effects. Idol producers even issued a warning to viewers about the intense strobe lights used onstage.

Ross, who also lent vocals to the lead single "Angels", is just another member of the extended Dirty Money family. Lil Wayne was passionate about the new sound being crafted, and dropped verses on "Strobe Lights", a teasing, funky club banger, and "Shades", a trippy track also featuring Bilal. Mario Winans produced the 80s-influenced "Give My All To You" while Rodney Jerkins produced the international party jam "I Want Your Love".

"I'll even take off my shades," sings (yes, sings) Combs on "Twisted", hinting at a new, emotional core to his sound. The multilayered track represents some of the many influences of Last Train. With a soaring synth riff that reflects the head-trip that is falling in love, he recalls a post-millennial Prince. Other tracks veer from tribal drums to church organs to gritty instrumentals, all combining to form the new sound.

While Combs has had unsurpassed success in many different realms, from fashion to spirits to film, the lush soundscape of Last Train represents a renewed commitment to music from the multitalented impresario. By opening up a chapter of his own life to tell the story, he's crafted an album that is expressive and exciting. Sure, this album will make you dance, but Dirty Money is more than just dance music. It's a movement.

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Digital Booklet: Last Train To Paris
Digital Booklet: Last Train To Paris
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 14, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Clean
  • Label: Bad Boy Records
  • ASIN: B003MX5P2U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,284 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sky VINE VOICE on December 14, 2010
Format: MP3 Music
If you had told me a few years ago that there'd be a day when I'd suggest that my opinion of the best album of the year would be a Rap album I'd have said, "You're crazy!" Well either I'm the one that's going crazy or perhaps my Rock horizons are just broadening, because I think that Last Train to Paris by Diddy Dirty Money gives the other 2010 album that I said was perhaps Album of the Year a real run for its "Money".

Even two weeks ago I never thought that I'd be buying the new Diddy album. But then on December 4th, 2010, I saw Diddy and his group perform Ass On the Floor and Coming Home on Saturday Night Live, and I said to myself, "Either those two songs were excellent or I gotta stop staying up so late." It turns out that the songs were just really excellent.

So I downloaded the record today and there isn't an unpleasant song on the disk (but parents beware of some language...surprised?). Diddy doesn't have the best singing voice in the world, but when he sings on this album he sings with his heart. And he gets a lot of help...not just from a lot of today's superpowers of Hip Hop and Pop, but also form two--let's call `em--co-lead singers named Dawn Richards and Kalenna Harper. I don't where he found these two gals, but talk about chemistry. Sean Combs, two Rihanna sounding ladies, and a great sounding bunch of road-musicians make Diddy Dirty Money a band...not a Rap act.

Since it's not clear here on the Amazon product page, I'll reprint the track listing that shows each song's guest performers. Add this great driving or party CD to your cart now.
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Format: MP3 Music
This album shocked me.

I've been a Puffy (Diddy to the rest of y'all) fan from day one, back when he was the self proclaimed 'coolest man alive', and its been hard ... no ... painful to watch his slide from that to an attention whore trying to stay relevant in the 21st century musical landscape. His last THREE albums have been bombs by the 90's Bad Boy standard (though Press Play did hint at the change of direction that is Last Train to Paris). Add to that the stream of failed careers he's presided over ... 112, Black Rob, G Dep, Loon, Total and the gold grill in his mouth that he's recently been prancing all over the place with and maybe, you get why I was pretty much done with him.

So when 'Last Train To Paris', came out ... I wasn't going to listen to it.
I wasn't going to listen to it if someone put it in my itunes for FREE!
I means screw that guy right?

But ... soon after the album dropped ... I got this steady stream of dazed reviews from friends on twitter, facebook etc saying, basically ...
"Dude, I don't know how to say this, but Last Train to Paris is actually good, Its confusing ... just go listen to it"
The grudging compliments were so overwhelming and guilty (I mean these were people who basically felt the same way about Puffy as I did) that I said to myself
"Screw this ... I'm going to hear this for myself, if only to point and laugh at these Badboy groupie friends of mine!"

So I went and got the album.
Needless to say ... I stand before you. Ashamed.
This album is so good that its a bit disconcerting.

The first thing you'll notice is that Puffy is gone from the Album cover (unlike Press Play, P.E. 2000 and No Way Out).
Then right after the intro fades out ...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dirty Money (now renamed Diddy-Dirty Money....smh can the women get some shine?) consists of singers Kalenna & Dawn from Danity Kane "fame". No doubt with Diddy as the headliner, everyone always tried to figure out just exactly what is Dirty Money. After all the awards show performances it seemed like they were just glorified backup dancers to the Diddy show. Thankfully, on Last Train To Paris they get the majority of the shine here to prove they aren't. They do have talent as far as vocals go but they aren't going to blow you away with them. Even so, Last Train To Paris is more of a cohesive compilation album.

Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of guests artists here to pick up the slack for the lack of talent overall in the group. Diddy has talent at hyping things up and production but zero rapping or singing talent. Kalenna & Dawn are good enough but not outstanding - "where's the solo album good" on their own. Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Rick Ross, T.I.,& Drake amongst a few others handle the heavy lifting. For example, Yesterday sounds like a Chris Brown song with Dirty Money in the background and Diddy whispering 8 bars on the track. Looking For Love with Usher sounds like an excellent Usher song that easily could have been on his last album or serve as a single on the next one. The album pretty much skates along in that manner.

The production is excellent, simply put, featuring production from Danja, Darkchild, Swizz Beats, Seven,and Alex Da Kid amongst others. It has a unique sound that doesn't really go the techno route but is still forward and (surprisingly) "urban" (read Black). It's comparable to the futuristic sound that was found on Press Play from Diddy a few years ago.
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