T-Pain, ‘Thr33 Ringz’ (Jive)
T-Pain presents himself asthe ringmaster of the music-industry circus — we’re just here to be amazed by his lyrics, his production, his elemental force. Yet on his third album, he constantly relies on petty one-liners, banal choruses, and (surprise!) Auto-Tune overkill. There are strong singles (the faux-seductive “Can’t Believe It,” blue-balls stripper anthem “Chopped N Skrewed”); an occasional tender moment (the too-brief honesty of “Keep Going”); and even rageful disses (“Karaoke”). Yet mostly, it’s drivel like “Yes, we in this private party / Girl, I like your…body” that defines him. With a hot guest list (Ciara, T.I.), this is bound to bump the clubs, but beyond that, it’s clown time.