"My Heart" was released in 1996 as the debut album from the R&B singer, Donell Jones (son of the Gospel legend Bobby Jones). This one got the artist's name up in the world, but it wasn't until the release of the 1999 single "U Know What's Up", which featured the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, when he got recognised as potential star in the R&B world.
1. "In The Hood" (Playas Version)
This is the banger which got it all going for the artist. it is a track which fits right in with what the R&B world was about at the time, with R. Kelly leading it all, and having room for other group acts such as Dru Hill, Jodeci, and BLACKstreet to head things too. You get him doing one for the males, just as those acts, who not only did soft, seductive ones for the girls, but ones which males could enjoy too.
2. "Knocks Me off My Feet"
Here is the second single off the album, and it gets him performing a cover of a Stevie Wonder song (not that I had heard the original), and with it, transforms it with the sounds of the time as he stick in some G-Funk-styled, whining synth, and this brings it up to modern times, and gives it appeal for the listeners of the time.
3. "No Interruptions"
You find yourself being placed right into a slow jam for this one, and the emotions directly connected to such a tune are brought through on this one as you get him doing a sensual one which clearly takes influences from R. Kelly, Jodeci and Dru Hill and others at the time who dominated this side of R&B. I wouldn't say that he was as good as them, but its a nice addition to such a collection.
4. "Waiting On You"
On this one you hear some soft Hip Hop-type of beats and they work well to bring you into the thing as Donell chooses to do one which apparently has him trying to win back an ex-lover who he fell out with in the past. I felt that the fusion of genres was key in making it work so well, and he carried it through to the end.
5. "I Want You To Know"
On this one he drops the 'playa' mentality and adopts one which seems to suit a much gentler side as he does a slow one on top of minimalistic production as he tries yet harder to get back the one who he loves. This one sounds like a direct follow-up to the tune which preceded it, but the way it was done didn't appeal to my tastes in R&B as it was a step away from a ballad.
6. "My Heart"
The eponymous tune from the album is a song which has him upping the tempo as you get him on some beats which seemed to follow the trend in R&B as it seemed to directly take from the Hip Hop world, but this time do it in a less energetic way (far from the New Jack Swing as the late eighties and early nineties). I felt that this side of him was the best in the album, and so I felt this was a big one, and it represents the thing well.
If you really do your homework on R&B of 1995 to 1997, then you would fin that those which did the best sounded just like this, an in my opinion the artist straight ills it with his way of doing a Jodeci-esque type of thing which reminds me of "I Can't Leave You Alone "(Feenin')". For this reason it stands out as one of the best you get here on the LP.
8. "Wish You Were Here"
With so many killer tunes on the album, you just find it hard to remember them all to a reasonable degree and you find yourself getting annoyed by how you simply find this one unmemorable as it is another big one, but with such a large frequency ones joints which are done so differently to each other , it just doesn't stand out, not to say it isn't a killer, as it is, and t wouldn't be as good without the odd one such as this.
9. "All About You"
For me, at this point in the album it seemed as though the sheer originality of the artist just could be stopped as you get him coming up with yet another joint which gets you moving, and guessing for how he could manipulate his foundations effectively. Had this one come out as a single, I'm sure that it would have torn up clubs just as the lead single "In The Hood" did.
10. "You Should Know"
On this one, he seems to contradict what has been said in so many other tracks on the album, as he opposes the general direction of most R&B songs, as the lyrics concentrate upon him explaining that he is through with the girl, and has already moved on (possibly prematurely). The gentle Swing beats in it lead it, and make it work to engage you with the way he does it, and takes away from the fact he seems a little out of line for ending things like this.
11. "Natural Thang"
This one has him attempt to take "No Interruptions" to another level, and I felt as though that in this case he killed it, and he got to exactly where he wanted to do things on the earlier one as he directs it as he gives his girl the opportunity to give suggestions before he lays it all down on her in the bedroom. He shows that he is worthy of competing with the best in the game with this one.
12. "Believe In Me"
On this one he gets back to the mind-set where he feels that he can't go on with the girl who he is in love with, and I think that this makes for a song which makes a lot more sense. From here I felt as though he was able to really drive it with a more easily-comprehendible storyline. I would have to say that this one requires much more time to get into, but after a couple of listens I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as the rest.
13. "In The Hood" (Remix)
Donell switches everything up for the remix of his big single from the album. He slows it all up, and somehow manages to keep it hard enough for the males to enjoy as he uses the Zapp & Roger "Computer Love" beat to act as the alternate backing to the lyrics which were found on the original. It isn't as strong as the first one, but still has lots going for it.
14. "Don't Cry"
The singer seems to be able to patch up all the issues which he sees his girl going through, and I felt as though he seemed fully-capable of doing so with the way he goes about singing the thing with such confidence. As you hear him doing it with beats which remind me of a Golden Age in the genre, it makes memories flood back.
15. "The Only One You Need"
Ending the album off, you find him unable to resist a final burst of energy with a tune which samples some classic Hip Hop material, and from it he rips through it with his hardcore way of singing about how he wishes to fulfil his wishes to become only one for the girl he wants. It is one suited for the clubs, and ends it the thing in a great way.
I am annoyed that this one wasn't given as much attention as it deserved as Donell didn't really receive that much hype apart from when he was dropping heavy singles, such as "U Know What's Up", "Shorty Got Her Eyes On Me" and "In The Hood" (from this one), but on this you have only a couple of tunes which break the high quality levels.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 In The Hood (1)
2 Knocks Me Off My Feet
3 No Interruptions
4 Waiting On You
5 I Want You To Know
6 My Heart
8 Wish You Were Here
9 All About You
10 You Should Know
11 Natural Thang
12 Believe In Me
13 In The Hood
14 Don't Cry
15 Only One You Need