Joe - Ain't Nothin' Like Me
The last couple of years R&B music has become pretty much irrelevant within the music industry, with sales declining very fast and fewer hit-singles or new artists breaking through. Joe is one of the last big artists (He and R. Kelly hold the torch) and while making music for quite some years now, with his latest release he not only solidifies his status as one of the best singers R&B has, but also delivers the type of album his genre seemed to be missing. But most of all, he gives us a fun and breezy collection of songs, and quite possibly the most enjoyable album we’re going to get this summer.
Where Lloyd and Ne-Yo are still trying to find their place and own sound and R. Kelly is letting us wait some longer and seems pre-occupied with court cases, Joe shows he’s mastered the craft of making a solid album and almost never drops the ball.
Let’s start with the good. Almost everyone who knows how to make some quality R&B is lending Joe a hand. And people like Sean Garrett, Brian Michael-Cox and Tim & Bob didn’t pass him some leftovers, Joe gets only A-class material to work with.
Lyrically there isn’t much to explore in the realm of R&B (one of the main reasons it has become so uninteresting) but even with giving in to some of the worst clichés ever put on paper, the music saves everything. Warm chords, funky drums and sunny melodies, it feels as if this album was made with a hot summer day on the beach in mind.
So what’s up with the bad? Well, it’s not really bad, but a perfect albums only comes along every so often, and while good, perfection doesn’t apply to Joe’s latest.
There seems to be a slight overdose of featured rappers. A guest MC can sometimes be a breathe of fresh air, but Joe seems to overdo it a bit by including six guests, where at least half of them could’ve been left off.
Another point is actually not even Joe’s fault, but more the result of the growth of Internet and the infamous leaking of music. Some of the tracks and even potential singles have been floating around on the net for months with Get To Know Me even dating back to 2005. Because of that some songs will feel dated to some listeners, but to people new to the music, it won’t be an issue.
Other than that, there is hardly any reason to complain. Okay, as always there are quite some ballads, the annoyance of which depends on personal preference (I could do without them) but they don’t take away from the album, and most of them still have that summer vibe.
This album has seen numerous delays and name changes, but it was all worth it, because Joe delivers. The summer is just beginning, but with albums like these it might be a long hot one, let’s hope so…