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"Love Always" came out in 1997 as the first album from the former Jodeci members K-Ci & JoJo as after their stint with influential quartet, the brothers went on to do things together to show how they could move on from their 'bad boy' material, and more towards the ballad work.
1. "HBI" (Intro)
2. "Last Night's Letter"
Getting things going here you see that the duo choose to dive right into something which you could have expected to get from someone such as R. Kelly at this sort of time as he turned his attention towards this kind of material (and to a degree away from the sensual stuff). It is a powerful one, and indicates where they wish to take things here.
3. "Baby Come Back"
The gentle swing which you get from the production of this one is an element which makes to remember where they have come from and to work out how just how exactly they hope to implement this through the material as you see that the Hailey brothers compose it as if it was a Jodeci cut with layered background vocals creating the effect of multiple vocalists when it seems to be just K-Ci pushing this side of it.
4. "Just For Your Love"
For this one you see that they take things in a direction which you would expect to get form them as they take things toward a much h more emotive place with their powerful vocal performance to really make you take notice of everything they do as they grab you with their flowing melodies on some deep synth.
5. "Now And Forever"
The way you see this one performed really shows what the time was about for R&B as people began to make big changes in where the music would go as things moved towards the turn of the century, and so rather than implementing more Hip Hop into their material (which was their unique feature as part of Jodeci) they dropped this in order to bring back the eighties feel, and really hit hard with this one to show that this is where they need to be.
6. "Don't Rush"
This is a killer jam from the album and one which rally stands out as it has them showing how they can implement this more mature material to do the sensual work. Although the high-quality DeVante Swing production is absent, they show just how well they can do it here as they make this a minor issue and pull out the best in their vocal ability.
7. "You Bring Me Up"
If appears that they couldn't resist bringing in a little Funk to this album as you see that with this one they mix it up a little with this little swing joint. It is a fly joint and has them taking on the typical Jodeci structure of composing the songs and just bringing it up to the time in jus the way these (the lead vocalists of the four-piece could).
8. "Still Waiting"
You see a guest appearance from DeVante Swing on this one to show that there is still love between them all as he lays down the production here to show that he is also down for these new developments, and is just as capable of producing in this style. However, I felt that this was a bit of a weak point in the album, and it didn't really fit in with the rest.
9. "Love Ballad"
Making it plain and simple what their intensions are here you see that they don't attempt to throw people off from the title, and so just go for a killer ballad form them which has them working at their best with the slow jam side on some eighties-styled beats. It is one which you are bound to remember and does its job to take the focus off the one prior to it.
10. "How Many Times"
In preparation for the best ending to an album you will ever get, this is one which keeps the flow of the material going as they choose to push things towards the emotive side as they perform one which has them dealing with how things can go wrong in relationships in a manner which takes you right in.
11. "All My Life"
Ending the album in the best way possible, you have them dropping what I consider to be the single best R&B ballad ever. You can't fault a single aspect of this killer slow jam form them as they show just how effectively they have moved on in just a year towards this contemporary ballad material. I can't recommend this song more.
This was a great way to follow-up their success with Jodeci as you see them bouncing straight back with a killer album which has them working to their full potential the majority of the way through in an adapted style which plays up to expectations of their more mature turn.
After their hugely succesful time in the R&B group Jodeci ended in 1996, The Hailey brothers released their first album as a duo the following year after previously only recording a handful of songs as KCI & JoJo whilst they were still in Jodeci. As KCI * JoJo They are one of my favourite R&B artists.
This album is a marked difference to the music they were making as one half of Jodeci. Although Jodeci had their fair share of slower songs they werent as smooth as some of the ballads you will find on this album. This album shows off the duo's vocal talent in a clearer way than their contributions to Jodeci. On Love Always they dump the attitude of the music they recorded in Jodeci and replace it with some great ballads which talk about the different aspects of love and relationships in a more frank and detailed way than with Jodeci.
1. HBI 1:51
This is an introduction to the album and features them at a Live concert thanking their fans with the audience cheering and screaming in the background.
2. Last Night's Letter 4:38
This is a beautiful ballad as featured on their greatest hits album that I reviewed yesterday. This is about putting down in your own words how you feel about someone and how they make you feel when you are together. A really great ballad.
3. Baby Come Back 4:16
This is probably the nearest to Jodeci on the whole album. A fusion of hip hop and smooth R&B this track works very well indeed and some of the vocal licks are very close to that of how the brothers used to sing whilst in Jodeci.
4. Just For Your Love 5:08
Another ballad that is has elements of their time in Jodeci. This however is a lot smoother than their stuff in Jodeci. A nice ballad about what they would do for the love of a particular woman. both brothers sound fantastic in this track.
5. Now And Forever 4:38
This is a lovely ballad about not taking things for granted. One of the best ballads on the album and this works so well. I really love the chorus for this song as it is so smooth and catchy. Certainly a very creditable ballad.
6. Don't Rush (Take Love Slowly) 3:13
I am not as keen on this track as I am about the best tracks on Love Always. This track although not bad doesnt have the amazing feel that the best on Love Always do. It does have a nice chorus and some great parts.
7. You Bring Me Up 4:23
This is how Jodeci would probably have been if the Hailey brothers had been the only ones in the group. A very catchy hip hop track. This will make your head sway back and forth with the catchy beat.
8. Still Waiting 4:54
This is basically a long intro into what becomes the ballad section of the album. A gorgeous ballad with both brother's sounding on top form vocally and if you like this track then I am sure that the following tracks will leave you with the same feeling.
9. Love Ballad 3:54
This is an old school ballad which sounds like it was recorded in the 1980's. Not as good as the rest of the ballads around it but it works really well and although it sounds a little dated it doesnt matter as it is a good track nonetheless.
10. How Many Times (Will You Let Him Break Your Heart) 4:41
This is a beautiful track that questions why a woman would go back to their man when they had walked all over their heart with a number of affairs. This is basically saying I wouldnt treat you like that if we were together. The vocals are beautifully done.
11. All My Life 5:31
This has a wonderful violin intro that is taken from the Frank Sinatra hit PS I love you. However All My Life is a far better song all round. A wonderful ballad about JoJo's daughter. One of the best tracks they have done in their career.
12. How Could You (Bonus Track) 4:57
This contains a beautiful intro with guitar and the beat of the drum. Both brothers sound emotive in this track and it is a very worthy bonus track as it is a really beautiful song about feeling let down in love. something that everyone can relate to in some way.
Love Always was the first album as KCI & JoJo and in my opinion is probably their best of their career so far, None of their albums are bad but this just has so many great ballads and although a case can be made for their other albums I still feel that this is the most complete album they have released.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Last Nights Letter
3 Baby Come Back
4 Just For Your Love
5 Now And Forever
6 Don't Rush (Take Love Slowly)
7 You Bring Me Up
8 Still Waiting
9 Love Ballad
10 How Many Times (Will You Let Him Break Your Heart)
11 All My Life
12 How Could You