Bo Bice’s debut CD may share a title with a 1971 live album by Taj Mahal (The Real Thing), but the two discs couldn’t be more different. In sharp contrast to Mahal’s down-home warmth, Bice traffics in lowest-common-denominator power ballads and sickeningly slick corporate rock. If titles like ”U Make Me Better” and ”Hold On to Me” don’t tip you off to the aesthetic direction, the presence of guest stars/song doctors like Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger and Bon Jovi’s Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora ought to. The bland hackwork arrangements only emphasize his wholly unremarkable competence. Bottom line: Skip this Thing — and go pick up Taj Mahal’s.
We gave it a C