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December 9, 2023

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K-Ci & JoJo
Love Always

By: Sylvia White

Hey all you die hard Jodeci fans (such as myself), the front men for the group, brothers K-Ci and JoJo Hailey have a new album entitled "Love Always". I must say, initially I thought that their first solo project, away from the production of DeVante Swing and the assisted background vocals of Dalvin DeGrate, the other set of brothers, would be a bit tired. To my surprise though, both K-Ci and JoJo prove on this album that they are genuinely talented and not just another set of pretty voices laid on R&B/Hip Hop tracks. I think the most refreshing element to this piece of work is the fact that the Hailey brothers did not attempt to be an imitation of the group Jodeci, instead they branched out and on "Love Always", gave us the opportunity to see the more tender side of their creativity.

As in the title of the album you can pretty much grasp that the concept is about love. There are quite a few really notable tracks that make this album worthy of having in your CD collection. It is a CD of 12 songs which were in some way or another produced and/or written by the Hailey boys. On "Just For Your Love", K-Ci's "talk" is enough to make you not want to give up on the love you desire. It is a soft and smooth track in which K-Ci adds some really strong old school flavor in his deliverance. "Now and Forever" takes me back to some of my Bobby Womack favorites and as we have seen on K-Ci's remade rendition of "If You Think You're Lonely Now", he can give off some strong Bobby vibes. It is a mellow, laid back sorta love groove.

Their debut single from this collection was entitled, "You Bring Me Up", it is a up to midtempo song, very danceable and catchy. A definite head nodder! On the only remake from the album, the brothers decided to lend their skills to an old LTD (Jeffrey Osborne) classic "Love Ballad", once again K-Ci takes the lead. He does not do anything truly spectacular but he does give an honest delivery. "All My Life", which I have a feeling will be a hot wedding song this year, surprisingly is not one of my favorites though others rave dramatically about it. In my personal opinion, the lyrics seem a bit trivial and mediocre though the strings on the intro to the song are mesmerizing, it still is not enough to sustain my attention for the duration of the tune. Then there is the bonus cut entitled, "How Could You" which is taken from the Bullet Proof Soundtrack (Damon Wayans). I really love this song! It is a true break up song with it's sad, heart wrenching lyrics and the Hailey brothers earnest delivery makes it one for the lovelorn listeners out there.

"Love Always" as a whole gets a strong 4. It is an album for the true Jodeci fans as well as those who may not have been into the whole Jodeci vibe. With "Love Always" K-Ci and JoJo have created a very nice album with songs that linger and resonate all the elements of love, both good and bad. In this piece of work, they prove all their fans right in knowing that, as usual, "those Hailey boys can SANG". Definitely add this one to your collection.

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