Rome, My Time Again
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday: Rome, My Time Again

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again nineties R&B nineties was such a crowded field that frequently, a singer would drop a hit single, and we thought they would become one of R&B’s next stars. Michigan-bred singer Rome was one such singer. Bursting onto the scene with the hit slow jams “I Belong To You” and ” Do You Like This” in the spring of 1997, Rome had a decent enough voice that displayed his gospel roots.

After serving as the opening act for Brian McKnight’s Anytime tour in the fall of 1997, Rome would depart from a major label and go the indie route for his subsequent three albums throughout the early 2000s. After that, the singer was MIA until his 2014 EP My Time Again, this week’s pick for Second Listen Sunday.

It had been almost a decade since I had heard this EP, so I decided to give it a whirl. The singer opens up his latest project with “Back on the Scene,” where he croons about returning to the music game. The lyrics attempt to correlate with a player coming out of retirement to reclaim his throne with Rome returning to singing. Honestly, the lyrics work better than they should.

“I Like Ya” almost got the Apollo “Sandman” treatment when I thought I heard some autotune, but listening to the song further, I noticed a Chicago steppers vibe. Those who remember Rome’s first album will recall that it was slow jam and ballad-heavy. Unfortunately, the first slow cut on the EP “Flesh.Com” comes off as an attempt at R.Kelly ‘s demographic.

The lyrics are crass and juvenile, taking into account Rome’s age. Honestly, this is one of the things had he sold it to Drake, PartyNext Door, or even Jacquees; they could have made it with a hit with vocal coaching from Rome. The sentiment carries over to the next track, “Candy Song,” which takes no chances musically and fails to live up to the “Quiet Storm” potential Rome vocally possesses.

Rome closes out the project with a decent ballad, finally in the form of “Tell The Truth.” While the song doesn’t reach the heights of his previous hits, it’s leagues better than the other two slow cuts. It was refreshing to hear Rome, and I salute the brother for still putting out music. As far as I can tell, Rome has yet to release a project since this one, but hopefully, he will return soon.

 

Final Grade: B-

My Time Again is available on all streaming platforms

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