For this week’s Slow Jam Saturday selection, we continue highlighting the songwriting of Jon B. Two months after the release of his debut Bonafide, Jon displayed his writing and production skills on After 7’s third album, Reflections. Arriving in record stores on July 18th, 1995, Reflections featured four songs from Jon. “Save it Up,” “How Did He Love You,” and “What U R 2 Me” were all up-tempo and are solid in their own right. However, Jon’s ballad contribution is what stands out the most for me.
Titled “Damn Thing Called Love,” the song features the production of Babyface set to Jon’s pen game. A haunting ballad about lost love, the song opens up with the late Melvin Edmonds crooning, “I’ve been down and out, but never this low before.” You can hear the pain in Melvin’s voice as he longs to make things rights in the relationship.
The song’s bridge is also impressive, where After 7 croons “If you love me, then show me, But if you don’t then go on baby.” I think everyone who has been in a relationship can relate to those lyrics.
It’s crazy to think that Jon B. was only twenty-one when he wrote this song. I guess this solidifies that he’s an old soul.
“Damn Thing Called Love” is one of After 7’s strongest songs in my opinion, and hopefully, when the group appears at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club this October, they add it to their setlist as I would love to hear it live.
Final Grade : A –
Reflections by After 7 is available on all streaming platforms, as is their newest release, Unfinished Business.