ALBUM REVIEW: Jon B – Helpless Romantic

Jon B returns after a four-year hiatus and his new album, Helpless Romantic, proves that he’s still most definitely got it. While not quite on the level of his breakthrough sophomore offering (Cool Relax) or as upbeat and commercially flexible as his 2004’s Stronger Everyday, it’s still light years ahead of most of the recent competition.Kicking off the festivities is the lead single, “Oh So Sexy,” featuring laid-back vocals from Jon and Paul Wall’s lazy lady-killer lyrics. Its alluring piano riff and back and forth vocals/raps gives the song an appeal that late night radio loves. Cool but crude, the collaboration works better musically than it would appear on paper.Switching up the tempo, “It’s U” takes Jon B back to his “Don’t Talk” days and reminds you of what real club music should sound like. The track is essentially about a girl but, thanks to its production and feel-good aura, its hidden meaning is to have a good time and enjoy life.One other track that plays the line between up-tempo and no tempo is the delightful “Paradise In U.” A slick tune, Jon B relaxes listeners with his butter smooth vocals over a mid-nineties inspired R&B instrumental. It’s hard not to love Jon B’s ability to run with a mid-tempo record, but Helpless Romantic comes slightly undone due to its final eight songs being a little too slow. They’re constructed very solidly, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing. “Part Of U” is by far the best out of the final bunch. The combination of its off-key drum loop and Jon B’s crooner complexity is as tough as a knockout punch from Floyd Mayweather Jr. Jon B is a master of sensual love songs; the only problem with his latest release is that there are a few too many closing out the album. Jon B’s soothing words, his boyish charm and his longevity cannot be matched by many artists in the game. Helpless Romantic is just another chapter in the rise of Jon B.

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