Album Review: J. Holiday - Round 2

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 9:45 AM

Artist: J. Holiday
Album: Round 2
Release Date: 3.10.09

"I ain't never been here before, the more I get the more I want..."

That's how you'll feel listening to this album: the more you get, the more you'll want. Those who caught on to J. Holiday during his first outing will notice a commendable amount of growth with his sophomore project. Consider Back of My ‘Lac (Capitol) as the appetizer while Round 2 (Capitol) goes much deeper, exposing the sensitivity of the artist and tapping deeper into his vocal capabilities. Quite simply, this album is less coarse, more sensitive; less R&B thug, more R&B crooner and each track is worth a few spins.

January saw the release of It’s Yours, the lead single that would usher in Holiday’s renewed image and outlook: gone are the notions of puppy love and ‘playa-listic’ banter, replaced with confessions of love and introspection. Don’t Go is one of the album’s most vulnerable points lyrically, exploring the emotions he felt in the very moment that he realizes she’s actually leaving and he’s the reason. Rick Ross contributes the album’s only guest appearance on Wrong Lover, underscored by an ultra-classy piano-led melody – gives the a real bluesy-singer type feel. Like their titles suggest, Lights Go Out and Make That Sound are characterized by their sexual themes and sultry undertones, illustrating moments of pleasure.

It’s hard to choose a favorite on this album, but I’d really recommend Run Into My Arms and Fly for their gentlemanly approach and overall smoothness. Vocally, the strength of the album can be heard in the power ballad Forever Ain’t Enough. What I love most about this song is how it builds; from the soft piano-led intro, to the way the emotions grow with the vocals as the production broadens. I Tried switches up the flow adding a rocked-out vibe complete with heavy electric guitars and a thumping bassline – I’d love to see that performed in a live show.

Round 2 sates the palate of the fans who were left wanting more in the wake of J. Holiday's solid debut and it’s versatile enough to pick up some new fans. On every level, this project shows growth and comfort in his niche. There’s a fair share of ballads, groove-easy mid-tempos, and he even ventures into some new sounds. Holiday will definitely earn more female fans this time around, but moreover this album proves he has potential to be a leader in the R&B revolution. Here’s to hope for a round 3…

Sound-Savvy officially rates Round 2 with 4.5 out of 5 platinum headphones.

Related Posts
Video: J. Holiday - It's Yours
J. Holiday feat. Rick Ross - Wrong Lover

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