Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday : Jimmy Cozier

Industry giant Clive Davis shook numerous heads when he announced his new label J Records after he was ousted from Arista Records in 2000. While J eventually signed heavyweight artists like Luther Vandross, Jamie Foxx, and Monica, who all earned multi-platinum plaques with the label. And, of course, there was a little minx named Alicia Keys, whose debut sold twelve million records.

While J Records had superstars, a few artists weren’t so lucky. R&B songstress Oliva was the first artist signed to the label and left the label on bad terms, while The Project G&B  debut album never saw the light of day. And then we have this week’s artist for Second Listen Sunday, Jimmy Cozier.

Jimmy Cozier was a Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter eager to stand out in a world of modern R&B music. His self-titled debut CD shows his talents as he expertly meanders through the realm of cell phones, cold-and-lonely nights, and troubled women. His impressive vocal range is particularly displayed on “Time Stands Still,” where his singing rises confidently against the backdrop of subtle instrumentals. Locating those tracks on which his vocals are uncluttered by too many distractions reveals the originality and strength behind him: imagine the energizing sound found within “Two Steps,” featuring background vocals from Wyclef Jean. Jimmy Cozier brings both skill and spirit to R&B.

In “No More Playing Games,” Cozier easily demonstrates his vocal abilities. Cozier and label mate Alicia Keys successfully collaborate on an enjoyable duet, “Mr. Man.” Would Cozier have been better off with a selection of primarily vocal-driven songs? The issue is that many of the up-tempo tracks have a similar sound and have no replay value aside from the lead single, “She’s All I Got.”

Furthermore, the only ballad featured is a message song, so it would have been good to hear him singing a slow jam. Unfortunately, the promotion for this album was not strong enough, which damaged its success. Despite this, Cozier has a pleasant voice – it’s hard to say how things could have gone without more support from A-list producers and artists.

Final Grade: B-

Jimmy Cozier is available on all streaming platforms

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Slow Jam Saturday : Ryan Leslie, Valentine

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