Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
A Step in the Right Direction
on May 12, 2012
I remember sitting with K'jon in his bedroom & ASR 10 back in the late 90's, lol. He's a great songwriter & definitely true to roots of R&B while trying to balance the reality of today's R&B music scene. Definitely not an easy task. Overall, this CD is a step in the right direction. Tracks 1 - 8 are considered "Side A". The first song (tracks 1 and 2 are interludes), "Superman", starts out with an uptempo modern dance R&B type vibe that touts Detroit's influence on R&B music & how KJ feels like he can do anything. As for the rest of the songs on "Side A", you can tell he's really trying to establish the fact that he's capable of doing more than just ballads. Fair enough, he's trying to re-define himself and still stay true to the music in his heart, hence the title of his CD, "Moving On". K'Jon then takes a u-turn on Tracks 9-16 which is labeled "B-Side". These tracks are geared towards his original fans & expose new fans to the style of traditional R&B music that he really loves.
I'm a big fan of K'Jon, but I think the overall production of this CD had some room for improvement. For example, some of the vocal background harmonies (and even the lead vocals) are out of tune. Any producer who has worked with an artist knows that they don't always hit the notes perfectly. It's the producer's job (or someone with a better ear than he/she)to point that out to the artist when they make mistakes. Sometimes the issue can be corrected with software like AutoTune and the vocals will still sound natural, but the best approach is to make the singer do that part over again until they get it right. Unfortunately, there were too many times where the producer or engineer failed to do this. The responsibility of the producer to get the BEST possible performance out of the artist and to make sure the final product the best it can be. In my humble opinion, I don't think that happened as often as it should have. Some might say I'm being picky, but even the average listener can tell when vocal harmonies are not in tune. They may not know how to express it, but internally they can hear it and will often just move on to the next track.
However, there is one song on the CD which stood out the most and could easily be his #1 hit. It's called "Take This Dollar". It starts out with a synth based sound and then switches to an old school 60's type of sound. The song is something you might expect from Cee-Lo Green. I think it's the best track on the entire CD and could easily be a huge Billboard hit. If his people start pushing that song & it could get him more even more visibility than "On the Ocean" did (which is still one of my favorite songs of all time). If you're in tune with today's R&B/Pop scene, go listen to that song and I dare you to say it wouldn't be a mainstream hit.
Overall, I'm giving this CD rating of 3 because the majority of the tracks aren't terrible, but just not memorable enough to stay in the mind of most listeners. "Take This Dollar" is the only song I heard that has the potential to really move K'Jon into the consciousness of more mainstream R&B/Pop listeners. The man has incredible talent, but I think he needs to work top of the line producers in the future to really shine and move on. Don't stop KJ, because you're definitely on your way.