R&B singer Donell Jones
may not occupy the same seat near the top of the music charts as he did in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but as his latest album, Lyrics
proves, he's still near the top of his game as a vocalist. Lyrics
, which was released in the U.S. on Sept. 28, 2010, features Donell doing what he does best: creating sexy and romantic songs that can either tug on your heartstrings or have you heading to the bedroom. Or sometimes both. Although the album falters slightly on the songs that have more of a hip-hop attitude, this is a very solid release overall.
Slower, More Erotic
Ever since his 1996 debut album, My Heart
, Donell Jones
' forte has been romantic and sexual music, and Lyrics
is most definitely more of the same. Not that there's anything wrong with that though, because Donell is a master at it and he's apparently a subscriber to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' way of thinking. The album's slower, more erotic material is what really makes the album work, particularly tracks like "Stripclub," which features Yung Joc, the first single, "Love Like This," and the drama-filled cheating odes "Blackmail" and "Backdoor." Another winner is "All About the Sex," which despite what the title implies, is actually a romantic ballad.
The upbeat songs, like "What's Next" and "The World is Yours" and "You Can Burn" aren't quite as good as the slower material, but to Donell's credit he manages to sound comfortable on the songs and not awkward or out of his element any any time.
The album's one flaw is production. Donell produces all of his own material, and it's obvious on some songs, like "Your Place" and the aforementioned "The World is Yours" that he needs to upgrade his skills for the 2010s and/or work more often with younger, fresher talent. But the dated production isn't much of a problem, since his fanbase is probably used to - and maybe even prefers - the familiar sounds of 10 years ago to the sometimes soulless and too-slick production of much of the R&B songs of today's music market.