I normally don’t like R&B albums because it’s usually cut and dry love songs. But that was the past and now mainstream R&B is about one-night stands, ménage a trois, and having a good time, everything present in hip-hop. With Joe’s Double Back: The Evolution of R&B, he takes R&B back to its soulful, passionate roots. Compared to The Dream’s album last month, Doubleback is a much better listening experience overall, and with better vocals.
Joe has been singing for about twenty years now with ten albums under his belt. I wanted to dismiss Double Back because I thought it was going to be a cookie-cutter old school type R&B album about love and affection but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The first track on the 12 track CD, Something For You, has a jazz influenced beat infused with bits of hip-hop. It’s uplifting and joyful and showcases one aspect of the album. The theme of the album is different styles of R&B and the opening track is a club song.
A motif of the album is love; falling in love, looking for love, finding love, making love, etc. What sounds like it could be a corny album about the same thing, he manages to make each song sound different. The first single from the album, I’d Rather Have A Love, is about how he can’t live without the love an affection of a woman and it’s catchy as hell.
The standard album features two guest appearances from Fantasia and Too $hort. Fanstasia sings with Joe on Love and Sex, a sexy, “lower-the-lights” song with smooth vocals and an even smoother beat by Derek Allen. Too $hort raps on 1 to 1 Ratio, a poppy dance hit.
I really enjoyed listening to this album and was a pleasant surprise since I was dismissing the album as it began to play. If you love R&B or Joe, then get the album, you might have a great time. It’s a short album but it’s worth the buy and listening.Google+