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Ain't Nothin' Like Me

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Albumrecensie

Can you think of many R&B artists who first appeared during the new jack swing era and continued to release good, up-to-date albums on a major label throughout the first decade of the 21st century? You probably cannot. If you can, Joe is likely near or at the top of that list. His sixth album — which went through a number of titles and projected release dates until it landed in April 2007 as Ain't Nothin' Like Me — is up to the standard of 1997's All That I Am and 2000's My Name Is Joe. Contemporary as ever, Joe seeks production and songwriting assistance from a number of ubiquitous heavyweights and up-and-comers, including the perpetually on-the-rise Tim & Bob (who first worked with Joe on 2000's "So Beautiful"), hot Norwegian team Stargate (Ne-Yo's "So Sick," Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable"), Sean Garrett, Bryan-Michael Cox, Johnta Austin, the Underdogs, and Cool & Dre. A handful of tracks aren't all that necessary, but if you were to trim the sequence down to ten or so, you'd have a 40-minute album that is not too far from faultless. The Tim & Bob, Stargate, and Sean Garrett productions complement each other well, especially within the album's opening four-song stretch. Beats dance and skip, supported by simple and roomy but effectively layered ornamentation — music box-like melodies, floating synthesizer accents — that is never laid on too thick. They're ideal for a nuanced vocalist like Joe, who can affect desire, pain, and devotion with the slightest of adjustments. From there, the quality level fluctuates, and there are too many ballads, but "Let's Just Do It" (another spacious, midtempo glider) and "Just Relax" (where Joe and Cool & Dre jack A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation" and sidestep corniness) are two other standouts. While a very basic name, a lack of flashiness, and sizeable gaps of inactivity have only gotten in the way of his popularity, Joe has maintained relevant and reliable since he debuted.

Recensies van klanten

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…

Biografie

Geboren: 05 juli 1973 op Columbus, GA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Jaren actief: '90s, '00s, '10s

Joe is an accomplished vocalist of smooth and sultry R&B productions with occasional hip-hop beats, and his extensive background in gospel music has allowed him to produce his albums as well as sing on them. A native of Georgia, Joe later moved to Opelika, Alabama; since he was the son of two preachers, he spent much time in church singing, playing guitar, and even directing the choir. Influenced early on by gospel stars like the Winans, Commissioned, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Joe grew to love...
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Ain't Nothin' Like Me, Joe
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