"This Is The Year" is a very mixed bag and sadly many with a more conservative or traditional outlook will not really feel this album. I understand this, but as time moves on the music we call soul, RnB or whatever is becoming as rich, diverse and textured as you like and albums like this definitely have a place. This CD may not be everything I may like but it sure has enough on here to warrant a purchase and make it into your coveted CD rack. Personally, for me there is far too much rap and all this "ah yea" malarkey really leaves me colder than a snowman's naughty bits. That gripe aside the music itself is not sampled - but real and properly laid down by real musicians. This is much, much better and it's only on one or two songs where the bass is oft-over zealous and a bit prominent. My first pick is "Angel" - a great track that will make fans of Dwele quite happy. Lionel Briones sax really adds some real adult flavour as does Ed Pasalo's dreamy keys. I know that this song will win a place in your heart, as will the gorgeously summery "Find Your Way". This track is very, very strong indeed and I think if any track is going to make even the most conservative ear stop and listen it will be this one.
An 80s flavour prevails on "Baby Steps" and the music shows great maturity and knowledge of how to construct an intricate yet essentially simple groove. This is very much a song that I have on repeat mode, and guest female vocalist Adesha is by no means a whining teeny bint of today's RnB standard. This is a soulful Lady indeed. The only rap track that really gets me sitting up is the final song, "Love In The Air". The soulful music is delicious and the keys are very much 70s Lonnie Liston Smith, the guitar a la Lee Ritenour and trumpet make this a tasty morsel. the rap itself is not offensive but exceedingly complimentary; nailing the marriage in the same style of Impromp2. If rap is your bag then the rest of the CD will probably impress you. The music certainly is not to be sniffed at. I think that Jonah Johnson has some real talent and is approaching today's music scene with a great more savviness than many and displays more than enough props to deserve a place on the hallowed pages of Soulchoonz.
The Vibe Scribe