For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Second Listen Sunday :Daron Jones, Christmas In Atlanta
Daron Jones had already made a name for himself as a founding member of 112 in addition to writing for the likes of Usher, Jamie Foxx, and 112 when he released his Christmas album, Christmas in Atlanta, on November 30th, 2015. Jones opens the project with Christmas in the Air, a midtempo bop that showcases Daron’s brisk baritone.
“Baby for Christmas” is up next, and this is Jones at his best. Jones honed his slow jam writing skills while in 112, and “Baby For Christmas” doesn’t stray too far from the writing style fan have become accustomed to from Jones. I like the song because Jones avoids using auto-tune and lets his voice speak for itself. “Cold Outside” is up next, and here Daron provides his male listeners with a solid apology song if you’re ever in the dog house.
The final original song on the project is the message song “Where Would That Leave Us.” Jones taps into the true spirit in this song and focuses on the holiday’s importance. It’s a great way to close the album out, and in a perfect world, I could easily see the song in an urban Christmas play.
Jones closes out the project with covers of the Christmas standards, “Away in a Manger,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Silent Night,” and “Oh Holy Night.” Jones sings the songs well and shows off underrated piano skills. While 112 is a legendary group, all members are equally talented. If you’ve never heard of any of Daron’s solo work, Christmas in Atlanta is a great place to start.
Final Grade: B
Christmas in Atlanta is available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
One of the most talented men in indie music, Eric Roberson, kicked off his 30th-anniversary tour last night in Pittsburgh, so for this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to revisit Mr. Roberson’s third album, The Vault 1.5, which hit record stores in 2003. As Erro fans know, Roberson initially hit the scene with the lovely ballad “The Moon” while studying at Howard University. Roberson’s first record deal didn’t go as planned, but not one to just lay down, Roberson continued to build a name for himself by writing for the likes of 112 and Will Smith. Additionally, Roberson collaborated with Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Cam’ron.