Donell Jones had already made a name for himself, writing for the likes of Usher, Jade, and Madonna, when his debut album My Heart hit stores in the summer of 1996. Jones’s debut featured the hit singles “In The Hood,” “You Should Know,” and his cover of the timeless Stevie Wonder classic “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” Furthermore, two of the album tracks, the slow jams “No Interruptions” and “I Want You To Know,” are better songs than some folk’s entire discographies that entered the music game in the last twenty years.
Second Listen Sunday : Daron Jones, The Unofficial Diary of Daron Jones
Daron Jones made a name for himself in nineties R&b as a member of 112, in addition to writing songs for the likes of Usher, Pink, and Jamie Foxx. In 2010 five years after the release of 112’s fifth album, Mr. Jones released his first solo album, Uncensored. However, I wanted to look at one of Daron’s cover EPs this week.
Arriving on platforms in 2015, The Unofficial Diary of Daron Jones allowed the singer to show off his baritone vocals and piano skills. Mr. Jones opens the EP with the interlude “Gift To You,” which transitions into a commendable cover of Donny Hathaway’s “A Song For You.” Kudos to Mr. Jones for making the song his own and never trying to out-sing Donny.
Two Stevie Wonder songs, “Overjoyed” and “All Is Fair in Love,” sound good. But the fundamental strong points are in his versions of “Tender Love” by Force MDs and “Never Felt This Way” by Brian McKnight. Both songs were already piano-driven ballads, so Daron has a chance to show out.
“Zoom” by The Commodores closes out the EP, and Jones evokes the church feel of the original song. The only minor misstep on the EP is The Carpenter’s “Superstar,” which Luther Vandross already claimed back in the early eighties. Jones sounds find on the song; I wish he would have given a different Luther song.
Nevertheless, this is a fine EP of covers worth a listen to.
Final Grade: B
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