The long-awaited, highly anticipated album from Jodeci is finally here. Almost exactly 20 years since they released The Show, The After Party, The Hotel, the quartet is back with a helping of 10 new songs titled, The Past, The Present, The Future. The project is short, but the talent is still there. The guys we fell in love with in the 90’s can still deliver vocally the way we remembered. Read more for the album review.
Jodeci albums of the past have suffered from having amazing singles but then not necessarily being able to hold the same intensity for the length of the project. (The Show, The After party, The Hotel just suffered from having far too many skits.) This album’s singles, “Nobody Wins” featuring B.o.B. and “Every Moment” both shine but they pale in comparison to the likes of “Forever My Lady” “Feennin'” and “Come and Talk To Me.” Not sure if that hurts or helps this project but it gave the listeners an opportunity to settle in and enjoy the sound of Jodeci in present day. And it tempered what would probably have been unrealistic expectations for many.
This album starts off slow with “Too Hot,” “Sho Out” and “Checkin For You.” The songs aren’t necessarily songs we’ve been waiting twenty years to hear. It sounds like the guys are getting comfortable working together again but also cuts that might have been scrapped if they had more time to work on the project. But then again, those might be those unrealistic expectations kicking in.
The majority of the project is produced as usual by Devante Swing. He collaborates with Bradd Young, Marquinarius “Sanchez” Holmes and S. Beckman on just about every track. By the time the album gets to track 4, “Those Things” it begins to pick up, thanks in part to an assist from Timbaland on the beat co-producing. The group also takes a moment to reminisce during the track.
The singles follow and by then the album has hit it’s stride. Timbaland assists again on “Incredible.” It’s not a highlight but it helps the album keep its pace. “Body Parts” however is my favorite track from the album. It features Mila J who shines alongside K-Ci, Jojo and ’em. In terms of content it is probably the most similar to the songs of 90’s era Jodeci. That’s not the reason it’s the best track from the project, but that does help.
The album ends with alternate versions of “Sho Out” and “Nobody Wins.” It’s disappointing for listeners who hoped for a large fill of new music, but “Sho Out” sounds a bit better the second time around with the help of Liana Banks and it’s pleasant to get “Nobody Wins” without the rap.
If you leave your unrealistic expectations at the door, you can enjoy this album. Understandably there is some rust, but for an album we thought we would never see, this is a pleasant body of work. Hearing K-Ci riff throughout the album and hearing them all harmonize is all worth it.
The Past, The Present, The Future receives a PAR
Stream the Album Below: