Ranking the Best Tyrese Albums

Sometimes you know just KNOW someone is going to be a star.

I vividly remember watching TV at the kitchen table in the mid-90s when I saw this commercial:

And I said to myself, “he’s gonna blow.”

I didn’t yet know Tyrese Gibson’s name but I knew we ALL would know it sooner or later.

In the years that followed, Tyrese became one of the standout male R&B voices of the 2000s and despite splitting his time between Hollywood (and those infamous social media rants) he’s still probably best known for his vocal prowess, thanks to years of standout albums.

But what’s his best work? GLAD YOU ASKED.

Join us for a look back at Tyrese’s musical journey, ranking his albums from bottom to top. Album quality, consistency, and impact on the genre are the name of the game, as usual. We’ll be sticking with his solo discography only, so no TGT album this time around.

6. Alter Ego (2006)

Soul in Stereo rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: It’s the debut of Black Ty! Well, sort of. This double-disc effort was marketed as two sides of Tyrese – disc one is the midtempo/slow jam cuts he’s known for, disc two is the hip-hop/uptempo side of his rap alter-ego Black Ty, whom we’d seen glimpses of going way back to his debut. It’s a cool concept in theory. But execution? That’s where things went haywire. Disc one aims to be classic Tyrese but most songs miss the spark of his best works. And while Tyrese isn’t a bad rapper, disc two fails to capitalize on his strengths – it’s mostly generic mid-00s party rap. Things finally pick by the end of the disc when he dives into the more autobiographical tracks but by then it’s too little, too late. Disc one ranks at at 3/5, disc two is more of a 2/5, so we split the difference for the full package. Alter Ego is an experiment that just didn’t pay off.

Forgotten favorites: “Ghetto Dayz,” “Hurry Up,” “Alter Ego”

5. 2000 Watts (2001)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3 stars out of 5

Edd said: Weird note: It always kinda bothered me that this album was called 2000 Watts and here’s why: The name itself is awesome, a really cool nod to both his hometown and the year, BUT it didn’t hit stores till 2001. RCA, YOU DROPPED THE BALL! Let Tyrese be great! Anyway, 2000 Watts definitely feels like a product of its era – the bouncy production from Rodney Jerkins and Underdogs feels quite 2000, err, 2001-ish. Despite a few well-sung ballads there’s not much staying power here.

Forgotten favorites: “Make Up Your Mind,” “What Am I Gonna Do,” “Fling”

4. Open Invitation (2011)

Soul in Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Tyrese really tried to diversify his game on his fifth release. By the early 2010s, R&B was in that weird space where it was trying its best to remain the cool kid in the music lunchroom. So like many of his peers Tyrese experimented with autotune and more Drake-ish sounds. It’s not a total loss – there are several hidden gems to be discovered but overall the project lacks the cohesion of his greater works. Also, with a couple of exceptions, this project is really missing those trademark ballads. A couple more of those may have tied the package together.

Forgotten favorites: “I Gotta Chick,” “Best of Me,” “Angel”

3. I Wanna Go There (2002)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Any early 2000s R&B fan knows the legacy of this album, and it probably goes back to BET’s Midnight Love playing the video for “How You Gonna Act Like That” every night for like two years straight. Tyrese standing in the hallway with that brown vest has been permanently burned into my consciousness. But this album is much more than one hit song. It’s a very strong mix of those classic ballads and energetic upbeat cuts. I Wanna Go There is a quality showcase of Tyrese’s diverse talents.

Forgotten favorites: “I Wanna Go There,” “How Do You Want It (Situations),” “Kinda Right”

2. Tyrese (1998)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: We’ve talked MANY, many times before about the magic of 1998, a year filled with not just classics, but countless hidden gems. Put Tyrese’s debut among them. It’s loaded with songs that would go on to be signature tracks, as well as some of his strongest album cuts to date. Tyrese’s debut doesn’t seem to get the recognition of his later works – likely because it landed before his acting pushed him to greater heights – but it’s unquestionably a career highlight.

Forgotten favorites: “Tell Me, Tell Me,” “I Can’t Go On,” “Give Love a Try”

1. Black Rose (2015)

Soul in Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Black Rose and Tyrese’s debut were neck and neck in the race for the top spot. The debut may have better songs (nothing on Black Rose beats “Sweet Lady”) but as an overall package, Black Rose is the more consistent release. That’s because Tyrese uses Black Rose touch on decades of musical evolution. Hip-hop. Gospel. Motown soul. Each track reads like a R&B history lesson, lead by Tyrese’s soothing vocals. It’s Tyrese’s finest work to date.

Forgotten favorites: “Picture Perfect,” “Leave,” “I Still Do”

What are your favorite Tyrese albums? Share them below.



  1. crazy in the morning January 5, 2020 at 12:58 am

    ginuwine please

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