Over the years, Joe has delivered the R&B goods. Definitely because of his excellent vocal ability, but also his special ability to present the sexual tone of his music with a gentleman’s finesse. He can sing lyrics and subject matter similiar to what other R&B artists sing. BUT after he puts that with a nice melody, a memorable chorus, and spreads thick the whipped cream that is his voice; it translates as romantic, not offensive, and never as average. Case in point: “The Love Scene”, “My Love”, “More and More”, “I Wanna Know”, “Worst Case Scenario” and of course, “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do)”.
But something got lost in translation on The Good, The Bad, The Sexy. It’s hard to taste the romantic special sauce. The trite lyrics on tracks like “Lose Control”, “Slow Kisses” “Pull My Hair”, “Tonight”, make them sound ordinary. As always, Joe’s vocals are on point, but they don’t seem to be enough to save the songs. There’s only so much he can do with the material. Musically or lyrically they don’t sound different from or stand taller than what’s currently on the airwaves right now.
While the current single “Dear Joe” doesn’t sound bad by any means, it isn’t distinctive either. Another artist could sing it. And that’s disappointing, because Joe has been in the game for long time and he’s one of the best. His talent is so far ahead of these current, so-called R&B vocalists that it would be an absolute shame for a listener to mistake one of his songs for one of theirs. Just as it would be hard to imagine another artist singing “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do)”. We’ve come to expect a signature song from Joe–specifically a slow jam–that is a qualified addition to our “grown and sexy” collections. That one song just doesn’t show up on this album, though “Impossible” and “Dear Joe” are decent tracks.
In fact, the whole album is “decent”. The Good, The Bad, The Sexy isn’t a bad record. Joe’s too talented to make a bad record. But it’s just decent. As the title suggests; it’s also sexy. Literally. It definitely will create a certain, umm… mood. Especially the track, “Drink Up”. There’s no secret what he’s talking about, but there never has been. Joe is singing about the same thing he’s always sung about, but the songs don’t stand out the way they have in the past and that’s what keeps the album from being as good as it gets.
Download The Good, The Bad, The Sexy on iTunes