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 : 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
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.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.