Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Slow Jam Saturday: Jagged Edge, Whole Town’s Laughing At Me

With the exception of a few cases, R&B groups experienced a period of stagnation in 2007. While some groups continued to tour and perform their renowned classics, releasing new music was infrequent. To commemorate this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, I would like to acknowledge a notable piece from Jagged Edge’s sixth album, “Baby Makin Project,” titled “Whole Town’s Laughing At Me.”

Arriving in stores on September 25th, 2007, the album was spearheaded by the Ashanti-featured single “Put A Little Umph In It”. Despite receiving limited traction, the song’s music video offered a preview of the album track “Whole Town’s Laughing at Me.” The production and instrumentation of the song above immediately piqued my interest, prompting me to anticipate the release of the complete version eagerly. The poignant ballad analyzes the aftermath of an unsuccessful romantic relationship, delving into the emotions of regret and humiliation that often accompany such experiences

The song’s first verse depicts the group’s capacity to empathize with their partner’s reaction should the roles be reversed. They openly acknowledge their transgressions, characterizing themselves as flawed in an artificial and tumultuous world. The lyrics suggest that the primary character may have been unfaithful, as they detail catching their partner engaging in infidelity in public. Vocally, the group brings the best you would expect. The pre-chorus reveals their longing for their former partner’s affection, reminiscing about when their lips used to meet. It also implies that they know the negative opinions and gossip surrounding their failed relationship.

The chorus expresses JE’s feelings of being a laughingstock in their town because they messed up a good thing. They regret turning their back on their partner and apologize for their actions, hoping it’s not too late to reconcile and make amends. Anyone who knows they’ve lost a good thing can relate. In the second verse, JE engages in introspection, recognizing their shortcomings and acknowledging that they should have been more understanding and given more opportunities to their partner. JE accentuates the challenge of seeking a comparable romance to their previous relationship and divulges that thoughts of their ex persistently haunt them, even in their dreams.

The song’s bridge adds a sense of vulnerability as the protagonist metaphorically succumbs to their sorrows in a crowd, feeling like a clown with tears of sadness. The laughter in the background represents the ridicule and condemnation they face from others. Although some of the later releases from the group could not match the talent displayed in their earlier works, the song “Whole Town’s Laughing at Me” successfully embodies the struggle to regain what was lost and the desire to correct past mistakes. It serves as a warning to appreciate and value one’s partner before it is too late.

Final Grade: B+

“Whole Town’s Laughing at Me” from “Baby Makin Project” is available on all streaming platforms.

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Slow Jam Saturday: Jagged Edge, Whole Town’s Laughing At Me