September 19, 2018

Jon B. - Helpless Romantic (2008)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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© 2008 Arsenal Records
AllMusic Review by Thomas Inskeep
Back in the late '90s, Jon B was one of the rising male stars of R&B, a gender distaff version of Teena Marie, only more focused on smooth midtempo balladry than raw funk -- his Are U Still Down: Greatest Hits record is a fine testament to this. Unfortunately, his 2008 "comeback" album, Helpless Romantic, only testifies to the fact that he's run stone out of ideas, or anything else remotely interesting to say. Really, anyone who finds lines like "pimpin' is overrated/when I'm makin' love to my baby" particularly, well, romantic (that lyric is from the title track) gets what they deserve. The production is utterly adult-R&B-cliched throughout (i.e. gently bumping grooves that go nowhere, so as to not offend), and even the one attempt at quasi-street cred here is an appearance (on lead-off track "Ooh So Sexy") by rapper Paul Wall, a fellow Caucasian whose 15 minutes ended a good half-decade ago. This is dull R&B, mediocre at best, and truly bad at worst -- and the real worst is that it comes from an artist who should know better; did his tutelage at the feet of Babyface teach him nothing? Apparently not.

tags: jon b, helpless romantic, 2008, flac,