Donell Jones had already made a name for himself, writing for the likes of Usher, Jade, and Madonna, when his debut album My Heart hit stores in the summer of 1996. Jones’s debut featured the hit singles “In The Hood,” “You Should Know,” and his cover of the timeless Stevie Wonder classic “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” Furthermore, two of the album tracks, the slow jams “No Interruptions” and “I Want You To Know,” are better songs than some folk’s entire discographies that entered the music game in the last twenty years.
Second Listen Sunday: The Colleagues, Another Love Story
One of the great things about being a critic is sometimes you listen to an album but don’t fully grasp how dope the project is until months later. Case in point while driving home from my regular 9 to 5 this past Tuesday and got stuck in traffic. After checking Waze, I came to the realization that I had about a forty-minute delay.
I took the opportunity to listen to an album for this week’s Second Listen Sunday and just put my iPod on random. The album that popped up was Another Love Story from The Colleagues. I initially heard the album when it hit streaming platforms on August 1st, 2019, but I haven’t revisited the project since. My first experience with the group was when they worked with Raheem DeVaughn on the singer’s What a Time to Be Alive project.
However, the group has been making noise in the industry for some time producing for the likes of Hip Hop artists such as Piles, 2 Chainz, and the late great Nipsey Hussle. In addition to working with DeVaughn, they did records with Tiffany Evans and even dabbled in K-POP. Another Love Story’s intent is to provide a soundtrack for couples. Soul singers Devon Culture, The HamilTones, Devvon Terrell, Vedo, and Mr. Raheem DeVaughn assist the group in their goal.
After a smooth intro for the opening track, Devon Culture provides a solid vocal on the sensual slow jam “No Conversation.” This song is strictly about skipping the foreplay and getting down to business when you know your significant other’s body and have time invested in the relationship.
Next is “Belong 2 You,” which features Raheem DeVaughn and Rob Hill Sr. With this song, The Colleagues go straight into the Jodeci’s playbook, and it works.
Devvon Terrell leads “C4,” which has an up-tempo vibe. Kudos to the song’s writer, as I never thought comparing an explosive to a relationship would work. The HamilTones bring their southern soul and grit to the smooth “Northing on You” as they efficiently sing and croon about their love for their other half.
Before an outro ends, the project Vedo gets a chance to shine. Initially, I wasn’t big on Vedo, but his appearance on Usher’s tiny desk performance this past summer won me over. He provides a solid album track with “Slow Motion” and shows that this younger generation can provide decent music given the right producer.
Another Love Story is a solid album overall and with only seven songs. It’s better than projects from artists who released double albums over the past few years.
Final Grade: B+
Another Love Story is available on all streaming platforms.
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