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After having reviewed his album "Ain't nothin like me" recently I decided to see which album/s I had not reviewed from Joe and came across this one. I remember back when it was released I listened to it regularly for months. The R&B singer from Columbus, Georgia had developed his name with 1997's "All that I am" and six years on he was one of the most well known R&B singers around with a strong resume which included working with the likes of Mariah Carey, Nas, N-Sync and Mystikal.
This was the fifth studio release from Joe Thomas. The album features production from R Kelly as well as Roy "Royalty" Hamilton,
Kevin "Shekspere" Briggs and The Underdogs. Recorded between 2002-2003 the album dropped on 2nd December 2003 and had strong first week sales of 121,000 copies in the United States alone. It features the singles "More and More", "Priceless" and "Ride Wit You". And Then... is an album that focuses on ballads but also has the up tempo tracks.
1. Sweeter than Sugar
2. And Then...
3. More and More
4. Ride Wit U
7. You Dropped your dime
8. Make you my baby
9. Street dreams
10. It Ain't like that
11. Another used to be
14. Hey Mami
15. I Remember
1.) Sweeter than Sugar
Joe opens with an up tempo feel here with the help of Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent. This track has a catchy feel and has some decent keyboard sequences and gentle guitar. Despite the inclusion of Lloyd and 50' this is actually a decent enough track. Joe's vocals have a strong confident flow and the catchy beat runs throughout the track well. This is a decent opening but there's more to come.
2.) And Then...
This track slows the theme down and is a very strong ballad which opens with a rather dark sound. This is a seductive tale of a romantic night from the start to when they start getting in the mood. It features great smooth backing vocals and breathy female vocals. Joe's vocals are strong and this is a very good ballad which hints at the quality of the ballads coming later on the album.
3.) More and More
The bedroom theme continues here with a call to the woman on how they want to be treated and what they want you to do. The drums crash in the background and the overall feel of the track is very smooth and seductive. This track is a great one for you to stay in the mood after the previous track aroused the senses. This is another strong sensual ballad to open the album with.
4.) Ride Wit U
This is a mid tempo track which has a catchy beat and some nice backing sounds. Joe's vocals are very flowing and they keep to the feel of the track. This track features G-Unit and Frankie Romano. This is one of the weaker songs on the album due to the lack of spark and it doesn't quite have that emotive focus of the best on here.
This is a lovely ballad which tells the story of unexpectedly meeting a woman who is perfect for you in every way. This features some nice backing sounds and the beat is catchy and keeps the time. Joe tells the story well and the song develops like a good film. This track has a good sound and continues the progression.
This mid tempo track has a fantastic rolling bassline which really pulls you in. This track is about going for a nice romantic drive with your partner. The fantastic beat really works well with the gentle keyboard tones. This is probably the best mid or up tempo track on the album. Joe's smooth vocals really blend well with the backing vocals. Great track.
7.) You Dropped your dime
This is a fantastic ballad which continues the superb rolling bassline feel. The story of the track is a message to the guy who was with your new partner before you but treated her wrong. Joe's basically saying you could have stayed with her but you didn't treat her right, now she's with me and we are really happy. A great message for both man and woman.
8.) Make you my baby
This track was produced by R Kelly and Joe proves that he can also demonstrate the same kind of flowing vocals which R Kelly has done so often. This track is about meeting someone new and wanting to be with them. This is another flowing track which has some nice gentle background sounds which compliment the beats. Good stuff.
9.) Street dreams
This is another track with a catchy rolling bassline but this is a much more up tempo track than the other two. This track is a real head bobber and toe tapper. It has a great flow and Joe shows that he's not just capable of great ballads. This is One of the strong up tempo tracks on the album for sure. The track features a sample of 2pac's All Eyez On Me.
10.) It Ain't like that
This is another lovely ballad which starts gently with gentle keys and then the fantastic beat comes in, This is a tale of no trust from your partner who accuses you of cheating. I really love the flowing combination of the drum beat and the gentle keys, This really makes a great platform for the lyrics and Joe's fine vocals. Great ballad.
11.) Another used to be
This is possibly the most emotive track on the album and it's up there with the best too. It's about finding someone you fall for and looking back on previous bad relationships hoping that the current one will not end up like that. The music is smooth, gentle and brilliantly emotive. This is Joe at his best. A brilliant ballad.
Joe moves back to the mid tempo feel here with a catchy track which has a sexy feel and moves along well, I feel though that it would be a little better if it was a ballad rather than a mid tempo track as the subject would require a more romantic type track to really excel like the best love tracks on here.
This is another great ballad, It features a great backing vocal sequence which acts well with Joe's voice. The theme of the track is about Testifying to your partner about how much they mean to you and why you love them so much for what they do for you. This is another great ballad which further adds to the appeal of this album.
14.) Hey Mami
This is the final ballad on the album and is the first of two bonus tracks. It's another bedroom themed affair with some seductive vocals. This is a decent track and a worthy bonus track although it doesn't quite stand out as much as the best on the album despite his fine vocals towards the end of this track.
15.) I Remember
This track features Freeway and is a catchy mid tempo track which has a decent flow and Freeway's part is decent enough but this although a worthy bonus track does not reach the heights of the best on the album. Decent enough track though.
It's the usual Joe mix of mid/up tempo tracks with the smooth love ballads . There are some outstanding tracks on the album and it's one of his best albums but it just loses out on five stars from me due to the slightly lesser tracks which although not bad they do make a slight mark on the album. Enough for four stars instead of the five it was very close to. This is a fine album though and a must for any Joe fan.
'And Then' is the fifth album of American RnB artist Joe released in 2003. Joe is one of my favourite RnB singers of all time, I have listened to all his albums and have enjoyed every single one... I was listening to a list of his albums this evening with a friend and thought I'd come here and check which ones I have not written reviews for yet...
'And Then'...like Joe's previous album comprises mainly of slow RnB tracks and ballads which is what Joe is famous for mostly, the ladies just love him..me included..LOL:)
First track on this album is 'Sweeter than Sugar' and it has interesting lyrics talking about how successful he's been with his career, thanking God and thanking his fans for his support: 'Thank all my fans for your support for you all keep loving me' and to that I say 'you're welcome Joe!':) The track is ok really, interesting lyrics...
'And Then...' is the second track and is a slow RnB ballad that sounds like many of his 'bedroom' ballads with a good backing soundtrack, great mixture of guitar and smooth beats combined with Joe's great voice and vocals. Good verses and lyrics, intervals and chorus, catchy tune and the album is titled after this track although it is not one of the singles off 'And Then..'
'More & More' is the third track, one of my faves and it is also one of the main singles off ths album, you may have come across the video, good stuff... The track is a slow smooth ballad, another bedroom ballad with interesting catchy lyrics and a simple chorus. The best thing about the track is the beats and backing soundtrack and his voice and vocals sound great and passionate. One that you can listen to again and again..
My favourite interval in this track: 'Girl we'll be going.. from the bed to the floor babe, then we'll be going.. from the bedroom to the kitchen babe, then we'll be going.. from the kitchen to the dining room.. then straight to..babe straight to the living room....I gurantee I'm about to drive you crazy...we'll be all over the house...'
I am sure you get the drift..it's not for the faint hearted!hahah:)
'Ride Wit U' is another single off this album and this features G-Unit. I was keen to listen to this one when I first heard about it because G-Unit was pretty up and coming round that time with 50 Cent becoming more popular.. It is a good track, a more upbeat one with Joe doing the main verses and chorus and G-Unit doing a bit of a rap somewhere in the middle and at the end. It can be both a good club dance hit and also a chill out track to relax to, great tune.
'Priceless' is my favourite track off this album and was also one of the singles. It's a slow chilled out track with a very beautiful soundtrack, beautiful lyrics: 'you're Priceless like a retro, you're perfect like a dream come true, girl why can't the world be a little bit more like you..'
It's one to listen to again, relax to or slow dance to..still as catchy to listen to now as it was then..
'Jeep' is another bedroom crooner - what Joe does best.. 'Sex in my jeep baby, we can freak in my jeep baby, steamy windows in my jeep baby..' again, you get the drift.. Good track, a hit, great lyrics..not particularly keen but great for a nite in...
'You dropped your dime' is next, never really listened to this one much so had to listen to it again to write this review. It's alrite. Slow, chilled, track...smooth vocals against a lovely background with harmonies. Main thing is the lyrics and it's got a good music style. You may have to listen to this one a bit more for it to grow on you.
'Make You My Baby' is another one of my faves on this album. Still sounds like it's new when I listen to it now..it's a quality track.
The soundtrack has got a unique winding sound to it, maybe a little tatse of latina influence in it, it starts out really simple with beautiful lyrics in the verses and intervals then flows into a lovely chorus.. Ballad, slow dance, relax and chill out - this track is very catchy should appeal to many.. It is one of those ones that your late night DJ may play and you think 'this guy has got great music taste!'
'Street Dreams' is an ok track, not too keen on it so I don't pay much attention to it but I guess that is not rare of an album, there'll always be one track where you think that was not included in the price so whatever...
'It Ain't Like That' is a beautiful track, great lyrics; it's basically about his girlfriend listening to the rumours and what her friends say and coming between them and he's re-assuring her 'everytime I go you start to trip, thinking I be with some other chic; worried about things that don't exist...girl it ain't like that..' The chorus is lovely, catchy tune..
'Another Used To Be' is a really slow track, great piano and instrumental background.. great lyrics worth a good listen. Another love ballad basically that you're bound to love but it's too slow for me, best for bedtime..late night radio:)
'Bedroom' is a slightly upbeat, slightly slow track in the choruses.. The backing soundtrack is upbeat and one you can dance to. It's an ok track to me... The title explains the track, again what Joe is good at.
'Testify' is the last album on the track and it ends the album nicely - slow winding down track; again great lyrics about being in a relationship, being in love ' Gotta testify coz you are so special, so glad that I found you and glad you chose me too..' It's ok too..
On the whole, a great album - If you're a Joe fan, another great Joe album; if you're an RnB fan - great RnB tracks, if you're the general listener - great slow tracks, great dance tracks, good album, great lyrics, great soundtracks, ballads to chill out, relax to and enjoy..
©marina321 Dooyoo March 2009; Ciao.co.uk March 2009; Ciao.com March 2009