Detroit native K'Jon has been around for years, working hard and putting out music since 2001, but it wasn't until he recorded the hit song "On the Ocean"
that his career really began to take off. And on his major-label debut, I Get Around
, which was released in the U.S. on Aug. 4, 2009, K'Jon shows that he's definitely deserving of being in the national spotlight. The album is a mostly laid-back, breezy album that bridges the gap between old-school R&B and new-school urban pop. I Get Around
is a pleasant surprise and easily one of the most enjoyable grown folks' R&B albums of the year.
The aforementioned "On the Ocean"
is definitely one of 2009's best songs, but although it's the album's peak, there are a number of tracks on I Get Around
that are just as good quality-wise. The title track, a feel-good song about how K'Jon's music has spread across the world despite a lack of radio airplay or mainstream recognition, is beautifully simple in it's musical approach; like many of the album's songs, it's got live instrumentation instead of computerized backing tracks. And this adds to the natural, organic sound and feel of the music.
Another song along the same lines is "This Time," a beautifully sad song about a man who one day realizes that he's in a broken romance and vows to fix it. "I'll be there for you, say a prayer for you," he sings. "I'm gonna open up, gonna show some love." Another beautifully painful song is "Summer Rain," which is about being lovesick: "Have you ever loved someone so much that deep down it hurts? 'Cause I'm sick on my stomach, like I wanna throw up," he sings on the song. Unlike many R&B singers out there today who sing about impossible to attain, unrealistic levels of romanticism, K'Jon's songs are, for the most part, grounded in reality. Instead of putting forth a fantasy of the ideal man that no human can live up to, his music is very much grounded in reality.
One of the Year's Best
And although he keeps it real for the most part, that's not to say that there's a lot of drama on the album. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite. K'Jon comes across as a real person on his songs, but his reality doesn't involve way-out-there, Jerry Springer-type drama or mundane, everyday-life tales. No, his songs for the most part involve his life as a singer. For instance, his big hit "On the Ocean," is viewed by many as a song about wanting to find his true love, but is actually about trying to achieve stardom. When he sings "So don't leave me hangin,' I been waiting too long, my ship has finally come," on the song, he's not talking about a woman, but about career success.
Another impressive thing about the album is that K'Jon doesn't just stick the the traditional R&B formula. He may have been influenced by traditional R&B/Soul artists like Marvin Gaye and Robin Thicke, but he also embraces modern urban music, too. Two of the album's songs, "What's Really Good" and "On Everything," feature guest verses by rap artists and utilizes computerized, synthesized music, but neither track is subpar compared to the rest of the album; in fact, each song blends in well and even manages to enhance I Get Around. Overall, there are very flew flaws here; this very well-rounded album that's definitely worth hearing.