In K-ci & Jojo’s world, not much has changed musically since they released their last album, 2002’s Emotional.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It would be pretty embarrassing to see the now forty-something Hailey brothers adopt current musical trends. Although it’s totally OK to stick to the love song-heavy template K-ci & Jojo have stuck to since Jodeci splintered in the mid-Nineties, something, in fact, has changed.
K-ci & Jojo themselves sound different.
It might be due to the 11 year hiatus they’ve taken from recording, but most likely the various substances that at least partially caused this hiatus are to blame. Whatever the cause, the brothers sound a bit ragged, and while K-ci has always had an old man’s voice-reminiscent of a younger Bobby Womack-the (still relatively) smooth Jojo has acquired a bit of vocal grit. There’s some unfortunate use of AutoTune in a partial attempt to cover the age up, but it doesn’t help much.
That’s not to say the album is terrible or even bad, actually. The song construction is up to the Hailey brothers’ fairly high standard-Jojo has generally been the architect of the duo’s sound and drives much of this album’s songwriting. The autobiographical title track is a keeper, as is the understated “Say Hello To Goodbye.” Although a bit of a generic quality tends to slip in after a while (a common complaint when it comes to albums by R&B artists of a certain vintage,) the classic soul style of “Somebody Place” points towards a direction the brothers might be wise to pursue in the future. Considering how spotty the duo’s previous albums (not to mention Jodeci’s three albums) have been, Keeper
fits in pretty neatly with the rest of their oeuvre.
Besides…you know you want to hear K-ci’s trademark “ooh yeah” again!
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