I’ll be honest… I don’t support many mainstream R&B artists. They just don’t have much to say these days about anything beyond sex, sex, money, cars and oh… sex. Don’t get me wrong. This kind of music does have a purpose and place… Think pulsating and still twerking bodies in the flickering lights of a night club and on long car rides. Yes- the right playlist will get you down the road in a jiffy! Former American Idol winner Jordan Sparks has decided to throw her hat in the ring with a switch from a largely pop sound to one that is decidedly more R&B. If the fact that she has a song titled Boyz In the Hood doesn’t convince you, perhaps it is her crooning that her guy shouldn’t “double tap that hoe”. I actually laughed at that song and the accompanying lyrics. The promise ring wearing Jordin was a mere 17 when she joined American Idol and its safe to assume that she is looking toward a promise with a different focus and outcome.
Let’s get to the music! At 25 and with current project Right Here, Right Now, Jordin is attempting to prove that she is now grown and sexy and can R&B vixen with the best of them. Don’t get me wrong, she still has a couple of pop-like tracks for long time fans. This project however ventures into other waters. Songs like They Don’t Give remind me of the liberation of Janet Jackson via Rhythm Nation. On this track she is telling her love that we need not care about what others think- we got this.Yeah, Janet. There is also a reggae joint via Casual Love featuring Shaggy where Miss Sparks is telling her love interest that she’s not the casual lover type (Sidebar: Shaggy is a smart dude. He reminds me of Snoop hopping on the proper wagons to keep his name in the limelight). The song has just enough reggae swag to have you pointing your imaginary guns with a quick body whine. Jordin also features R&B newcomer (for some), Elijah Blake on Unhappy. Unhappy appears to be in response to her break up with Jason Derulo who claimed in interviews that he was never really happy with Jordin who saw him through a broken neck injury and beyond. You couldn’t tell he was unhappy publicly (I saw the interviews of you espousing your happiness Jason!), as even she missed the signs but apparently he was faking it. I digress. Tell Him That I Love Him takes a step deeper look into losing your mate to another. By the time this song, followed by 11:11 appear, I’m hoping she’s almost over him. Heart break is a mutha and I wasn’t in the mood. The project rounds out with 100 Years, a slow groove about a new love (yay for Sage the Gemini) and a head bobb’n It Ain’t You (which sounds like Tinashe’s 2 On AND All Hands on Deck).
12 tracks and all are worth a listen unless you’re like me and uninterested in break-up songs. I went on the ride with Jordin and while we were re-routed for a few minutes, we found our way to the main roads again. She’s got it all- dance beats, dope beats, reggae and slow grooves to help you get over your broken heart. All she’s missing is a diss record! Where’s the diss track Jordin?!! Anyway- Jordin is doing music her way and it’s refreshing. Go get this.