Review by Ernest Barteldes
When I mentioned to a colleague that I planned on reviewing this album, he commented that he wondered if K’Jon would be more than a ‘one-hit wonder’ following the ‘mediocre’ releases that came after “On The Ocean” made it to the # 1 slot on the charts back in 2009.
I was of course familiar with that single, but everything else that came later seemed to fall off my radar. The artist himself seems to have realized that might have fallen out of favor with fans judging by the reflective tone on many of the lyrics on this new album. On “Moving On Intro,” he reasons that when “a one may close, all you have to do is find one that is open.” On “Side One Interlude,” he comments that “R&B ruled the radio/now it’s all cold and predictable,” probably a personal realization about the state of the music business today.
The album is full of confessional songs. The lead single “Will You Be There” openly talks about alcoholism, depression and suicide. “Maybe I will go back to the bottle,” he admits in near-desperation before he begs his woman to be there for him as he turns his life around. On the strong “Take This Dollar,” he talks about reaching out to a family member who has fallen on hard times while advising him to swallow his pride. “Wonderland” is more of an old-school ballad in which he duets with Mistee Merritt about a love come true, while “Super Momma” pays homage (just in time for Mothers’ Day) to all the mothers who have made a difference to their children.
While it’s too soon to know if K’Jon will have a long-lasting career, his fans can rest assured that he will not be just another name to explode in the scene and vanish right after that – not if he continues to make music this powerful.
Listen to “Will You Be There”