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Jon B - Stronger Every Day


Review: Jack Foley

JON B prides himself on his ability to bring smooth melodies to contemporary R&B and has made a successful career out of writing his own material, as well as songs for the likes of Toni Braxton, Color Me Badd and After 7.

But I have to confess to being somewhat underwhelmed by the artist's latest album, Stronger Every Day, which sounds a little too generic for its own good.

The album boasts some impressive collaborations (as most R&B albums do nowadays) but it lacks a genuine spark that would inject some much-needed life into proceedings. For my mind, it's far too earnest.

Part 2, featuring Tupac, for instance, sounds like any other R&B ballad sung by the likes of Mario Winans or Nelly at the moment.

It contains some nice piano moments and is designed as a serenade to all of his female fans, but it's far too sentimental.

The same can be said for title track, Stronger Every Day, featuring Tank, which is rife with smooth rhythms and beats, yet once again fails to really take off.

At a time when the R&B market is so competitive, there is a very real danger than Jon B's latest might get lost in the mix (especially in the UK), and it certainly won't reach out to many new fans.

The artist is said to be influenced by the music he found in his grandparents' record store, such as '70s soul, which he mixed with '90s hip-hop on his 1995 debut album, Bonafide, but such crossovers are few and far between here.

The 70s soul is present, most notably on Thru The Fire, but Jon B seems to be content to keep things intimate, sexy and personal.

Hence, most of the album is influenced by the different relationships the artist has experienced throughout his life, with Thru the Fire representing a time when he was at his lowest, and Patient reflecting on a new relationship, as the couple take time to feel each other out.

There are some dancefloor fillers, such as recent single, Lately, which is also remixed as a bonus final track but, again, they lack anything to really made them stand out.

While the gospel backed What In The World fails to excite in the same way that other artists have used it.

All of which leaves Stronger Every Day a distinctly flat affair that suffers from being a little too smooth.

Track listing:
1. Everytime (feat Dirt McGirt)
2. Lately
3. One More Dance
4. I’m Right Here
5. Hands On U
6. Patient
7. Part 2 (feat Tupac)
8. Stronger Everyday (feat Tank)
9. Thru The Fire (feat Scarface)
10. What In The World
11. Az U
12. Multiple
13. Lay It Down
14. Before Its Gone
15. What I Like About You (feat Babyface)
16. Everytime Remix (feat Beenie Man & Farena)

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