In 1995, R&B singer Montell Jordan burst onto the scene with his platinum-selling single, This Is How We Do It, from the same-titled album. A year later, Jordan returned to the music with his sophomore album More to Tell. Jordan’s second album features the same hip-hop soul groves that were prevalent on his debut.
Jordan opens the album with an Interlude titled “Non-Believers,” which features rapper Shaunta. “Superlover Man” follows and finds the singer sampling Johnny Guitar Watson’s “Supaman Lover.” “All I Need” continues with the dance floor grooves that dominated the nineties while “Tricks on My Mind” finds Jordan again creatively sampling Slick Rick. This time, he uses “Mona Lisa”. Jordan finally gets into the singles from the album at Track #5 with the song “Falling.”
Produced by Derick “D Man” McElveen and James Earl Jones, “Falling” is a grown man groove. The producers sample MC Eiht’s “Streiht Up Menace,” and with Jordan’s vocals, it brings a jazz café vibe. “Falling” was the most successful of the album’s singles, partially due to an official remix featuring rapper Flesh-n-Bone. I’ve never cared for the remix myself as rap wasn’t needed and it ended up taking away from the song’s emotion.
“What’s on Tonight,” the album’s third and final single, finds Jordan collaborating with Jodeci’s DeVante Swing for a seductive slow jam. Jordan never goes into crass territory with the song; instead, he presents an instructional piece for anyone who could never find the right words to say to your special someone. Twenty-five years later it is still better than some music on the radio today and one of the best songs in Jordan’s catalog.
The gospel interlude “I Say Yes” is up next, which Jordan sings fine. Still, I’ve always questioned the song’s placement, as I feel it was better suited for an outro. Jordan regains his footing on the album’s next song and first single, “I Like” feat. Slick Rick. Initially appearing on the soundtrack to Eddie Murphy’s remake of The Nutty Professor, “I Like” is an excellent blend of Hip Hop and R&B with a fresh Hot 16 from Slick Rick.
The second half of the album finds Jordan working with his childhood friend and kindred musical spirit, producer Shep Crawford. Up first is the ballad “Let Me Be the One (Come Runnin).” The song is a pleading ballad. I could’ve easily seen Luther Vandross or Aaron Hall with the vocal power that Jordan brings to the music on this one.
The balladry continues with “Never Alone” & “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright.” While both songs are a bit on the filler side, the production and Jordan’s voice keep them from being forgettable. Hearing these songs at the age of 39, they all solidify the nineties R&B sound. I also understand the mood that Jordan and his producer were going for. Every song they worked on together transitions smoothly from one to the other. Jordan closes the album with “Bounce 2 This,” which could serve as a bit of a de facto sequel to This Is How We Do It.
After the strength of the ballads, it’s a questionable way to end the album. Personally, I would’ve placed the song more towards the front with the up-tempo songs to keep with the same momentum. As I mentioned earlier in my review, Jordan should’ve ended the album with “I Say Yes” as the outro.
From a commercial standpoint, Jordan never achieved his success with This Is How We Do It. However, a talented singer and songwriter in his own right, Montell’s second album More to Tell validates that he was much more than one song.
Final Grade: B
Top Tracks: “What’s On Tonight,” “Let Me Be the One (Come Runnin),” “I Like”
More to Tell is available on all streaming platforms