In retrospect it seems like every male r&b group of the 90’s was shipped off to a remote island and forced to fight to the death, last group standing wins. The first to fall was Jodeci. They dropped Freek’n You in ’95, apparently decided it couldn’t be topped and walked off into the sunset. Dru Hill was the next to go, but a group led by an silver-haired elf was not made to last (I’m not above a Sisqo cheap shot). For a while Boyz II Men was the clear favorite, but they stumbled at …
DJBooth Album Review
Jagged Edge isn’t the most talented group, but they’re the most consistent. No one else comes close to four top-ten albums in seven years. While other r&b bands of their generation have fallen off or fallen apart, Jagged Edge has just kept coming. Their latest bid for immortality is a collaboration with So So Def label boss and producer Jermaine Dupri, appropriately titled Baby Makin Music. The album’s a lush collection of ballads whose effects can only be properly judged nine months from now. So put the kids away, turn off your phone and dim the lights. It’s baby makin’ time.
Every man knows, or should know, that foreplay is an absolutely necessity to good lovin. Jagged Edge starts the album off with a little teaser, an intro that consists entirely of clips of their past hits. Remember all the good times you and Jagged Edge have had? Get ready for more. Just in case there’s any doubt about who’s gonna love you right, it’s Me That’s Who, a subtly soulful joint that shows why fans have been swooning over twin lead singers Brian and Brandon Casey for over a decade. They don’t have the most dynamic voices in the genre, but their silk smooth voices never miss a note and never let you down. Anyone who really has game knows it’s all about building anticipation. A Way to Say I Love You is a classic radio dedication to that special lady as she drives home from work, letting her know what’s waiting for her when she gets home. The beat’s nothing special, just your typical r&b acoustic guitar lines and soft percussion, but it’s just supposed to set the mood. Mission accomplished.
The candles are burning, Jagged Edge is on the stereo, it’s time to get down. Put A Little Umph Into It features production absolutely dripping with seductively bouncing percussion and atmospheric synths, the perfect stage for Jagged Edge’s vocal undressing. Ashanti continues her sputtering comeback attempt by laying down a decent verse, she was always more personality than voice, and her contributions here aren’t any different. You can’t help but wonder if she’s worthy of the only guest feature on the album. The track won’t go down as a classic, but it’s still enough to make you…wait for it…put a little umph in it. If you’re really looking to make some babies (metaphorically speaking, use protection people) I’d suggest Sunrise. The track revolves around Asian style strings and has some of the best vocals on the album, certainly the most memorable lyrics: “Baby we’ll be rockin til the mornin, lean back and watch the sunrise.” Sounds like a plan.
As good as last night was, we all know the morning can bring something very different. One problem with a good thing is you can never get enough, as Can’t Get Right so eloquently states; “Sometime I’m almost sorry that I found you/cause I can’t get no peace when I’m not around you.” Can’t Get Right does more than drop truth, it injects some swagger into an otherwise subdued album that occasionally threatens to become merely background music. Heaving percussion, pitch perfect harmonies, if any song off Baby Makin Project becomes a classic it will be this one. Unfortunately there are bigger problems than being sprung. Jagged Edge releases the full powers of their r&b powers on Round and Round, a moving plea to stop the constant fights and get the relationship right. Jagged Edge always served as the soundtrack to your life and Round and Round is no different. Listen, if you don’t already own a Jagged Edge album it’s hard to believe Baby Makin Project will be your first, but long time fans won’t be disappointed. Jagged Edge ladies and gentlemen, your source for sexually soaked ballads.
DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 09/27/07
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"I Really Wanna Know You ft. Jagged Edge & Fabolous" (2006)
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