Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday : J. Holiday, Round 2

2009 was a strong time in R&B as a crop of male R&B under thirty had all dropped projects. Popular opinion would tell us that before his “incident” in February 2009, Chris Brown should have gone to another level with his project Graffiti. However, in the summer of 2009, fellow Virginia native Trey Songz dropped his third album, Ready, and appeared to have that number one slot for the new school R&B lover men.

For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I wanted to highlight another singer from Virginia, Mr. J. Holiday, and his second album, Round 2. Hitting the scene in 2006 with his debut single, “Be With Me,” Holiday’s career took off in the summer of 2007 when he dropped his second single, “Bed,” written by The -Dream and followed it up with the equally successful “Suffocate.” The album’s success led to Holiday touring the world and earning a Grammy nomination.

For the first and only single from the album, “It’s Yours “Holiday linked up with producer Jasper Cameron. I can admit that hearing the song in my late twenties, it took a minute to grow on me. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate more, particularly the pen game of Holiday, who co-wrote the track.

J elegantly pens a love ballad about a man expressing his deep affection and desire for a woman. The lyrics convey his willingness to commit to her fully and make her feel cherished. The song showcases his desire to have a meaningful and intimate relationship with the woman he loves.

While I have yet to find out why there wasn’t a second single, there were some worthy songs here. Holiday has a lot of ballads on here, which is fine, as he’s a capable vocalist. “Fall,” “Don’t Go,” “Sing 2 U”, “Run Into My Arms,” and the sensual but classy Lights Go Out are all fire. Quiet, honestly, This song could serve as a sequel to his huge hit, “Bed.” 

The only songs that didn’t strike a chord with me are “Wrong Lover” featuring Rick Ross, “Make That Sound,” and “Fly.” I sensed no chemistry with Holiday and Rozay on “Wrong Lover.” While “Make That Sound” featured the voice coder, which Holiday didn’t need. Finally, on “Fly,” the production was dull. However, it may have been huge if Holiday sold the song to a Disney singer like The Jonas Brothers or Corbin Bleu.

Given the success of his debut, Holiday could have easily repeated the R&B thuggery formula that made him a success for album #2. Instead, the DMV native showed he was here for the long haul, and it’s a shame that the label didn’t give him the proper push.

Final Grade: B

Round 2 is available on all streaming platforms.

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