Review: Jon B. - Helpless Romantic

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 12:12 AM

Artist: Jon B.
Album: Helpless Romantic
Release Date: 10.28.08

It’s been a few years since Jon B. released an album, and even then it wasn’t given the major attention it deserves. The lack of spotlight, however, hasn’t stopped the R&B crooner from crankin’ out good music, as evidenced by his 5th studio album Helpless Romantic. Although it doesn’t outshine some of the projects of his prime (Cool Relax and Pleasures U Like), it reaffirms (and possibly reclaims) the title of White Soul Brother for the one time protégé of R&B mastermind Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds.

Helpless Romantic has received even less buzz than Jon’s previous project, Stronger Everyday (2004); so in case you haven’t heard Ooh So Sexy, it’s the velvety smooth lead single. The album version features a guest appearance by Houston rapper Paul Wall who is one of only two featured appearances on the album. I was immediately drawn to Its U, which is a club type track, laced with smooth synthesized vocals and a kicking bass line; it works really well for his sound. Then there’s a more familiar, classic Jon B. sound on tracks like the mid-tempo Drops of Rain and the sexy On & On, both of which feature a nice mix of that classic falsetto mixed with his natural range. The album’s high point, however is certainly Everybody Here Wants You. This track was definitely made for the late night love makers, and has some Prince-inspired flavor to it (and not just in the vocals).

Lyrically, the album loses me on the title track; the metaphors seem a bit far-reaching and the lyrics just don’t seem to flow too well. Paradise In U is another track that just doesn’t do much for me, not that it sounds bad but there’s nothing memorable about that song. The album’s lowest point is Part of U; it’s an admirable attempt at something out of his norm, but it just doesn’t work.

So yes, the album falls short in a few places, but the drawbacks honestly aren’t enough to turn me off to the album. Jon B. is one of few artists who hasn’t disappointed me yet, no matter how much his star power has dwindled. If anything, he’s proof that talent transcends media spotlights and major label releases. Robin Thicke, get out your notepad, here’s the stuff a career in R&B is made of: it’s called consistency. There’s something for every R&B lover on Helpless Romantic, another installment of smooth R&B from one of the original white boys with soul.

Related Post:
Jon B: Ooh So Sexy


3 comments and counting...

  1. bshepjr Said,

    good album!

    Posted on November 3, 2008 at 12:38 AM

  2. Anonymous Said,

    This album was pure crap. So was the John Legend album. But who cares. We all have our opinions. It is obvious that you loved it but I couldn't stomach one song.

    Posted on November 3, 2008 at 12:46 AM

  3. Anonymous Said,

    I agree, this album was not worth any of my money. It was full of what sounded like some music he rejected from his first album. I love Jon and was hoping he would come back harder then this. I wanted him to kick Justin Timberlake out, so we could have the two badest white boys in R&B/Soul.Maybe he should re-release Stronger Everyday. That was a hot cd

    Posted on November 3, 2008 at 7:39 PM


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