Ranking the Best Tank Albums

Few artists have evolved like veteran singer-songwriter Tank. Emerging at the turn of the century as one of the next generation of crooners, he’s since traded in romance for raunch, riding that trap/soul train to some of the biggest successes of his career. It’s hard to argue with success.

But you know what I can argue about? Dem albums. You know how we do around this time – let’s look back at Tank’s near-20 year career, ranking his discography from worst to first. Reminder: we’ll only be looking at his solo studio LPs, so no mixtapes, EPs or his TGT collabo with Ginuwine and Tyrese. Rankings are determined by song quality, album consistency, and impact on the genre.

savage

8. Savage (2017)

Soul in Stereo rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: If you’ve been following this site for awhile, you know this ain’t a surprise. While Tank began to experiment heavily with the trap sound on his previous album, he goes ALL IN on this one. And despite the commercial success of “When We” the overall body of work suffers from major pitfalls – weak songwriting, generic trap drums, and Tank’s mighty vocals get lost in the beat. We know he can do better.

Forgotten favorites: “Everything,” “Good Thing”

slp2

7. Sex, Love & Pain II (2016)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3 stars out of 5

Edd said: I’m always iffy about “sequel” albums – the title alone immediately sets a bar that’s often too high to clear. Michael Jackson never dropped Thriller 2, did he? Anyway, the follow-up to Tank’s acclaimed Sex, Love & Pain has that very struggle. It’s immediately linked to a beloved body of work and quickly pales in comparison. Tank’s vocals are still top-notch when he decides to use them and the trap production is actually pretty solid this time around. But the weak songwriting and lack of noteworthy tracks make this inferior to the original.

Forgotten favorites: “SLP2,” “Better for You,” “Him Her Them”

stronger

6. Stronger (2014)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3 stars out of 5

Read our review here

Edd said: Stronger is kind of an odd album – you can tell Tank was ready to branch out into new avenues but he couldn’t quite figure out how to get there. After his previous record’s heavy-handed hip-hop feel, Stronger tries to retain a few of those elements while also throwing back to some of his more soulful sounds. The result is a mixed bag that really drags during a full listen.

Forgotten favorites: “Stronger,” “Same Way,” “Missing You”

this is how i feel

5. This Is How I Feel (2012)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: And THIS is when Tank was like “aight, I’m getting nasty.” Tank has always incorporated hip-hop into his music but he really lays it on thick here, crafting songs that are much more sexual than sensual. And for the most part, they work. While later albums would struggle to find a healthy balance between soul and hip-hop, this is probably the best example of Tank finding that happy medium.

Forgotten favorites: “Lonely,” “Don’t Give Up,” “This is How I Feel”

now or never

4. Now or Never (2010)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Remember Tank’s track “Emergency?” If so, that’s probably the only thing you remember from this set. And that’s a shame – Now or Never is a pretty solid effort but for some reason gets lost in the shuffle among Tank’s more high-profile LPs. The second half of the album is especially noteworthy but the package itself is a little forgettable.

Forgotten favorites: “Scream,” “Keep it 100,” “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

one man

3. One Man (2002)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: One Man is a very difficult album to rank n’ rate. The first half is VERY good, among some of Tank’s best work, in fact. But once we hit the Jazze Pha joints about halfway through, the momentum slows a great deal. Knock off five or six of the weakest tracks and this is a contender for the crown. One Man is an uneven but enjoyable set that contains some of Tank’s most underrated gems.

Forgotten favorites: “I’m the Reason,” “Unpredictable,” “Cake and Ice Cream”

force-of-nature

2. Force of Nature (2001)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: I remember when one of my boys put me on to this album back in 2001 – he was ready to bet the farm that Tank was next up. One listen to Tank’s debut and it’s hard to debate that. Force of Nature introduces listeners to the blend of heartbreak and sexuality that would be Tank’s trademark. There are a couple of stumbles (some of the more upbeat tracks are a little generic) but the songwriting is so introspective and solid that Tank quickly redeems himself. Great debut.

Forgotten favorites: “Let It Go,” “Can’t Get Down,” “Kill 4 You”

sex love and pain

1. Sex, Love and Pain (2007)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Well, duh. There was no other option for No. 1. Sex, Love & Pain is celebrated TO THIS DAY *Deontay Wilder voice* as Tank’s defining work and it’s easy to see why. Strong vocals. Great diversity in content and sound. Unforgettable singles. SLP is THE definitive Tank album and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Forgotten favorites: “Coldest,” “My Body,” “I Hate You”

What are your favorite Tank tracks? Want to yell at me for shading the trap stuff? Do all that below.

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1 Comments

  1. Besides SLP 2 I agree mostly with the ranking. I’m enjoying Savage more and more these days. “HIM, Her, Them” is in constant rotation for me even 3 years later. Great ranking

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