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Thread started 07/09/21 9:56am

whitechocolate
brotha

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Jam & Lewis Vol. 1

This is a bit of a letdown 4 me. I would have expected more along the lines of J&L's "classic HIT" artists like Janet, S.O.S. Band, Alexander Oneal, Cherrelle and/or Patti Labelle. For ME, this doesn't really "feel like" a Flyte Tyme "greatest" assembly. They nailed it with Sounds Of Blackness and Mariah, but the rest seems 2 fall short. What does Babyface or Toni Braxton have 2 do with Flyte Tyme? They don't. Hopefully Vol. 2 (if this one sells and there IS a Vol. 2) will feature their more prominent acts as opposed 2 what's presented here. Seems as if Babyface/Braxton r lookin' 4 a way back 2 the top of the R&B charts by using J&L as a catalyst 4 this 2 happen. Even the songs seem uninteresting considering their track record 4 hitmaking. We'll see what others have 2 say. These r merely MY opinions on what I've heard so far. Much luv and hope every-1's well. <3

Hungry? Just look in the mirror and get fed up.
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Reply #1 posted 07/09/21 10:16am

SoulAlive

I’m not impressed with the two songs I have heard already.Gonna listen to the whole album on my lunch break smile
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Reply #2 posted 07/09/21 10:28am

MickyDolenz

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whitechocolatebrotha said:

Even the songs seem uninteresting considering their track record 4 hitmaking.

Are you expecting any new Jam & Lewis songs to be played along with Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, etc? They're not going to get radio airplay other than maybe Adult R&B stations. Today's hot producer is DJ Khaled. "We da best music!" razz

You can take a black guy to Nashville from right out of the cotton fields with bib overalls, and they will call him R&B. You can take a white guy in a pin-stripe suit who’s never seen a cotton field, and they will call him country. ~ O. B. McClinton
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Reply #3 posted 07/09/21 12:51pm

funkypixie

The songs on the album do have a Jam & Lewis feel but its their 90's/00's RnB sound rather than the 80's funk/pop sound. For example the Boyz II Men song on here is similar in feel to '4 Season of Loneliness' which they wrote and produced for them back in the 90's. Although I actually think they fair better than the few uptempo tracks on the end of the album. The Morris and Jerome track in particualr feels a bit clumsy and to me sounds like a Condensate outtake. Although I've only listened through to the album once so can't give a fully considered judgement right now.

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Reply #4 posted 07/09/21 3:45pm

EmmaMcG

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I've only listened to the full album twice and even though I really wanted to like it I just don't. I don't dislike it though. It just doesn't do enough to grab me. I like the Morris Day song but even that was kind of disappointing. I was hoping it would be a Time song or something and it's not. Still a decent track though and definitely the highlight of the album for me.

Hopefully Volume 2 brings a bit more funk to the party because even though I'm a huge fan of classic 90's R'n'B, this just doesn't do it for me. It's all a bit, dare I say, generic. More Morris Day next time and maybe even try to get Jesse Johnson etc involved for a full Time reunion on one of the tracks.
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Reply #5 posted 07/09/21 4:26pm

SoulAlive

The album is OK…a few of these tracks are cool but I don’t hear anything that will keep me coming back to listen.The song with Morris Day and Jerome is a nice little summertime jam.I like it.
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Reply #6 posted 07/09/21 4:32pm

SoulAlive

funkypixie said:

The songs on the album do have a Jam & Lewis feel but its their 90's/00's RnB sound rather than the 80's funk/pop sound.



Exactly.I was hoping that this album would be a fun throwback to their 80s sound.Such a shame that SOS Band/Mary Davis aren’t part of this album.

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Reply #7 posted 07/09/21 4:40pm

OperatingTheta
n

It sounds a generic r&b album from the mid-90s. Though Morris Day does manage to heat things up a little, on the whole it is utterly bland and insipid. Not sure what possessed Jam & Lewis to make a comeback with something this by the numbers and basic?
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Reply #8 posted 07/09/21 9:52pm

alphastreet

Mariah is in my top 5 and even I don’t like her new song, and feel it’s trying too hard to be a we belong together type of song though she put out the awesome caution album

I think jam and Lewis and Janet should work with me! I wrote songs as a hobby and can help them comeback hehe
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Reply #9 posted 07/10/21 8:52pm

Superstition

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It sounded ok. The best one is the Babyface track. It’s not bad, just sounds like a bunch of listenable filler.
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Reply #10 posted 07/10/21 9:53pm

bluegangsta

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While it's only "Volume 1", I feel like the material on this album is just too soft. When they started talking about this project a decade ago, they said they had recorded tracks with Janet, Alexander O'Neal, Cherrelle, SOS Band and Mint Condition - so already this is a letdown, even if they'll make their way on to Volume 2, 3, 4...

I really wanted to like this as a whole, but I found myself skipping a few of the songs and by the end, immediately turned on the "Mo Money" soundtrack. All of the tracks go for too long and most lack a real climax.

1. Til I Found You (with Sounds of Blackness) - Great opener. A nice, mellow start with some very well written lyrics.
2. Spinnin (featuring Mary J. Blige) - Not bad, but the lyrics are almost too Mary J Blige for me to enjoy. Like it's a caricature of her former work.
3. The Next Best Day (featuring Boyz II Men) - Skip! Probably the most boring song on the album.
4. Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin' My Heart) (featuring Mariah Carey) - It's okay - like a cheaper "We Belong Together".
5. He Don't Know Nothin' Bout It (with Babyface) - I don't particularly like Babyface, but this was enojyable enough and an obvious single for the album.
6. Happily Unhappy (featuring Toni Braxton) - An absolute highlight! This song actually builds in a way the rest don't and Toni's vocals are impeccable.
7. Maybe I've Changed (Or Did You) (featuring Heather Headley) - Skip! At this point, I just couldn't tolerate yet another slow song.
8. Do What I Do (featuring Charlie Wilson) - Another highlight! The opening reminds me of "Would You Mind" and the high-pitched percussion is reminiscent of their SOS Band work. The song itself is wonderfully written and if I didn't know better, I would have said it's an outtake from Peabo Bryson. I could also hear [1980's] Alexander O'Neal singing this one.
9. Do It Yourself (with Usher) - Skip! Uninteresting.
10. Babylove (featuring Morris Day, Jerome and The Roots) - Thoughout the whole album, I was thinking "well, at least it ends with Morris Day, surely there will be some funk? Like "It's Gonna B Alright" or along those lines?" Nope.

Maybe it'll grow on me.

Always cry 4 love, never cry 4 pain.
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Reply #11 posted 07/11/21 3:49pm

PrettyMan72

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The only song I don't like is with Charlie Wilson.

Nice article on them talking about Vol 2.

https://www.startribune.c...cJovHVIrCg

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Reply #12 posted 07/11/21 6:55pm

Graycap23

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bluegangsta said:

While it's only "Volume 1", I feel like the material on this album is just too soft. When they started talking about this project a decade ago, they said they had recorded tracks with Janet, Alexander O'Neal, Cherrelle, SOS Band and Mint Condition - so already this is a letdown, even if they'll make their way on to Volume 2, 3, 4...

I really wanted to like this as a whole, but I found myself skipping a few of the songs and by the end, immediately turned on the "Mo Money" soundtrack. All of the tracks go for too long and most lack a real climax.

1. Til I Found You (with Sounds of Blackness) - Great opener. A nice, mellow start with some very well written lyrics.
2. Spinnin (featuring Mary J. Blige) - Not bad, but the lyrics are almost too Mary J Blige for me to enjoy. Like it's a caricature of her former work.
3. The Next Best Day (featuring Boyz II Men) - Skip! Probably the most boring song on the album.
4. Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin' My Heart) (featuring Mariah Carey) - It's okay - like a cheaper "We Belong Together".
5. He Don't Know Nothin' Bout It (with Babyface) - I don't particularly like Babyface, but this was enojyable enough and an obvious single for the album.
6. Happily Unhappy (featuring Toni Braxton) - An absolute highlight! This song actually builds in a way the rest don't and Toni's vocals are impeccable.
7. Maybe I've Changed (Or Did You) (featuring Heather Headley) - Skip! At this point, I just couldn't tolerate yet another slow song.
8. Do What I Do (featuring Charlie Wilson) - Another highlight! The opening reminds me of "Would You Mind" and the high-pitched percussion is reminiscent of their SOS Band work. The song itself is wonderfully written and if I didn't know better, I would have said it's an outtake from Peabo Bryson. I could also hear [1980's] Alexander O'Neal singing this one.
9. Do It Yourself (with Usher) - Skip! Uninteresting.
10. Babylove (featuring Morris Day, Jerome and The Roots) - Thoughout the whole album, I was thinking "well, at least it ends with Morris Day, surely there will be some funk? Like "It's Gonna B Alright" or along those lines?" Nope.

Maybe it'll grow on me.

Agreed

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #13 posted 07/12/21 4:18am

nextedition

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The next best thing is really amazing!
So much going on and that key change
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Reply #14 posted 07/13/21 5:42pm

Cinny

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bluegangsta said:

While it's only "Volume 1", I feel like the material on this album is just too soft. When they started talking about this project a decade ago, they said they had recorded tracks with Janet, Alexander O'Neal, Cherrelle, SOS Band and Mint Condition - so already this is a letdown, even if they'll make their way on to Volume 2, 3, 4...

I really wanted to like this as a whole, but I found myself skipping a few of the songs and by the end, immediately turned on the "Mo Money" soundtrack. All of the tracks go for too long and most lack a real climax.

1. Til I Found You (with Sounds of Blackness) - Great opener. A nice, mellow start with some very well written lyrics.
2. Spinnin (featuring Mary J. Blige) - Not bad, but the lyrics are almost too Mary J Blige for me to enjoy. Like it's a caricature of her former work.
3. The Next Best Day (featuring Boyz II Men) - Skip! Probably the most boring song on the album.
4. Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin' My Heart) (featuring Mariah Carey) - It's okay - like a cheaper "We Belong Together".
5. He Don't Know Nothin' Bout It (with Babyface) - I don't particularly like Babyface, but this was enojyable enough and an obvious single for the album.
6. Happily Unhappy (featuring Toni Braxton) - An absolute highlight! This song actually builds in a way the rest don't and Toni's vocals are impeccable.
7. Maybe I've Changed (Or Did You) (featuring Heather Headley) - Skip! At this point, I just couldn't tolerate yet another slow song.
8. Do What I Do (featuring Charlie Wilson) - Another highlight! The opening reminds me of "Would You Mind" and the high-pitched percussion is reminiscent of their SOS Band work. The song itself is wonderfully written and if I didn't know better, I would have said it's an outtake from Peabo Bryson. I could also hear [1980's] Alexander O'Neal singing this one.
9. Do It Yourself (with Usher) - Skip! Uninteresting.
10. Babylove (featuring Morris Day, Jerome and The Roots) - Thoughout the whole album, I was thinking "well, at least it ends with Morris Day, surely there will be some funk? Like "It's Gonna B Alright" or along those lines?" Nope.

Maybe it'll grow on me.


Listened to the whole thing in a hot tub, and I had the same results except I enjoyed the last track more than you.

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Reply #15 posted 07/13/21 9:36pm

whitechocolate
brotha

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PrettyMan72 said:

The only song I don't like is with Charlie Wilson.

Nice article on them talking about Vol 2.

https://www.startribune.c...cJovHVIrCg

AWESOME! NOW, I get it! I was thinking too much along the lines of "Where's the HIT?" They're doing this for the love of making music and "not chasing trends, etc..." I can't wait for Vol. 2, but this weekend, I'ma go out and buy Vol. 1! This makes me happy having heard what both have to say! smile

[Edited 7/25/21 21:37pm]

Hungry? Just look in the mirror and get fed up.
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Reply #16 posted 07/14/21 7:25am

Cinny

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nextedition said:

The next best thing is really amazing! So much going on and that key change


I am going to have a closer listen to the Boyz II Men track. smile

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Reply #17 posted 07/14/21 12:51pm

TrivialPursuit

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Okay first, I'ma say - Jam & Lewis are legends. No denying that. I love those guys and the work they've done in music and education.

Having said that...

The album is just okay.

I agree that the Morris song is sorta clumbsy, and feels like an outtake from somewhere. Slightly off mark there.

I'm so sick of Mary J. Blige's drama. Honestly, it's always "I've been through some things," and "Now I'm better, but man, the shit I went through..." WE GET IT. Mary, ya ain't the only heifer that's been through some shit. Same with Toni Braxton. "Happily Unhappy." Okay then.

(I'm not sure what's up w/ Toni lately anyway. That last album title she had - what in everlivingfuck was that?)

Mariah's song is okay, but feels - distracting. It sounds like 2 or 3 Janet and Mariah songs meshed together. It needs to be de-produced a bit. But I totally get the "We Belong Together" notes in the chorus. Sounds reductive.

While I advocated for Charlie Wilson to do his job as a singer, I at least hope he got paid on this record. Cuz he ain't gonna have money coming in from it being a hit anytime soon.

I love Heather Headley, so even though her song was painfully slow, it was nice to hear her over a Jam & Lewis track. This track actually feels more authentic than anything else on the record.

The Boyz song plods along like an old Hungarian maid on a muddy road.

Lastly, Babyface and Toni Braxton don't have anything to do with Jam & Lewis - until now. Folks can work with who they wish, man. Think about it - Jam & Lewis's only real heat was from LaFace back in the 90s. Those production teams were fierce. Even McElroy and Foster gave everyone more than a few beads of sweat on their foreheads.

These producer-led albums are so often uninteresting. Randy Jackson did it, no one listened to it beyond that one Paula Abdul thing on American Idol, where she lipsynced the fuck out of it. Quincy Jones - 'nuff said. The only one I can think of that's remotely interesting is the producer behind Milli Vanilli. Because despite Rob & Fab lipsyncing, the actual songs and the vocalists were great.

You know who they need? Someone who no one would expect.

Get Madonna on a Jam & Lewis dance soul track. Let's get that Madonna/Janet thing we would've never gotten otherwise. It's as close as we're gonna get to it since they hate each other.

Have them produce an unheard MJ song (again).

Where's Lenny Kravitz when ya need his dick-floppin' self? Let him lay some guitar on a track and sing on it.

Where's Jill Scott?

Where's Erykah?

Where's Aguilera?

Where's Beyonce?

ANYONE.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #18 posted 07/16/21 7:20am

PJMcGee

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A Hungarian maid? Now that's a metaphor. Bravo.
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Reply #19 posted 07/17/21 4:36am

seand67

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I love Jam & Lewis but this 9 Track compilation falls short. Yes 9 tracks!! The Toni Braxton song 'Happily Unhappy' doesn't count and was originally a Bonus track from her 2005 'Libra' album. C'mon fellas, you really tried to pull a fast one ? At any rate, I purchased 7 tracks (1-6, 7, 10) just to show support. Jam & Lewis should've released a career spanning box set compilation featuring many of their classic productions and just used this 'Volume One' as bonus tracks.

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Reply #20 posted 07/19/21 8:07am

Cinny

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seand67 said:

The Toni Braxton song 'Happily Unhappy' doesn't count and was originally a Bonus track from her 2005 'Libra' album.

That makes total sense. Sonically I was getting 2000s! I should just find that version of Libra. CD

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Reply #21 posted 07/19/21 11:03am

funkaholic1972

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Huge J&L fan here (mostly of their 80's work plus I dug some of Janet's later hits), but reading the opinions here doesn't make feel excited to check this project out...

RIP Prince: thank U 4 a funky Time...
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Reply #22 posted 07/20/21 9:18am

Cinny

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I know they are the producers, but putting their name on the front while still relying on the marquee featuring vocalist names to sell it doesn't make the songs better.

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Reply #23 posted 07/20/21 1:56pm

ThePersian

That’s one utterly bad album with some awful vocals.
90’s RnB out-takes with x-factor style OTT naff vocals.
Even wheeling out Morris & Jerome doesn’t help it. Would like to know what Roots contributed too…
The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
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Reply #24 posted 07/20/21 2:45pm

SoulAlive

yeah I hate to say it,but this is not a good album confused this is just a collection of bland,90s-sounding R&B tracks.Not what I was expecting at all.

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Reply #25 posted 07/20/21 2:46pm

SoulAlive

maybe on the next volume,they'll aim for more of an 80s vibe,including some uptempo funk jams.

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Reply #26 posted 07/20/21 3:20pm

Graycap23

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SoulAlive said:

yeah I hate to say it,but this is not a good album confused this is just a collection of bland,90s-sounding R&B tracks.Not what I was expecting at all.

Bingo

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #27 posted 07/22/21 1:03pm

funkman88

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IT SUCKS BALLS TERRIBLE ALBUM..THEY OLD AND WASHED UP....

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Reply #28 posted 07/22/21 5:26pm

RnBAmbassador

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This is all old leftover stuff. These are not new recently recorded in the studio sessions. They have been shopping this compilation for about 4 years. So people expecting something new and groundbreaking, forget it.

When Jam and Lewis did work on most of these acts this is stuff that didn't make the cut then.

Music Royalty in Motion
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Reply #29 posted 07/25/21 9:41pm

whitechocolate
brotha

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After a sit down with it over the weekend, I honestly have to say it sucks. Other than Sounds Of Blackness and Mariah, I think the whole album blows. I'll be sellin' it at the used CD store in town for credit toward another purchase. Though I get the whole thing about them being artists for the first time and playin' with other artists, the music just doesn't go anywhere. The Boyz To Men track is God-awful, as is Mary J. Blige's, Heather Headley's, Toni Braxton's, Charlie Wilson's, Usher's and Morris Day's. They all suck. Nothing here sounds amazing or even close 2 what they're capable of writing & producing. I maintain that a career-spanning boxed set with a hardcover book would have been preferable and more meaningful 4 the fans.

Hungry? Just look in the mirror and get fed up.
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