Jodeci The Show. The After-Party. The Hotel MCA MCD 11250

"While it may superficially appear more ambitious than their previous releases, there's no real progression in their attitude: Jodeci have come for your daughters. Again."
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The Independent Culture
Jodeci's third album takes the form of a concept album, based around one night in the group's hectic touring schedule. As concepts go, it can't have taken too much brain-wattage to devise: we're not exactly dealing with "A Hard Day's Night" here - though that hasn't stopped group producer De Vante from claiming every last bit of credit for it, and in his very own customised typeface, too.

What it means in practice is that the 11 songs are beefed up to 68 minutes by the addition of an equal number of dramatic segues outlining the boys' backstage machinations. Not that "The Show" occupies their attention for too long, mind, and "The After-Party", well, that lasts all of 16 seconds before the boys are back at "The Hotel", working on their conquests.

So while it may superficially appear more ambitious than their previous releases, there's no real progression in their attitude: Jodeci have come for your daughters. Again.

They're not wasting too much time on foreplay, either. Even as the wheedling G-Funk synth lines are caressing the swingbeat grind of the opening song "Bring On Da' Funk", they're rhyming "parties" with "bodies" and murmuring erotically about getting down.

From there on, the lubricious, grinding funk grooves at a fairly constant tempo, only letting up to accommodate the segues, which rapidly become tiresome interrruptions: unlike the various "Snoops" and "Ices" that have featured similar interludes, Jodeci are hardly over endowed in the drama department, and bring little spark to their vignettes.

Where they score heavily over those rappers, and over closer competitors like Montell Jordan, is in the bread-and-butter matter of their vocals, which are quite outstanding. Lead singers K-Ci and JoJo bring their melismatic glory straight from the church, using their gospel roots in the service of seduction just like Sam Cooke and Al Green before them, and even rescuing the line "I'm going to work on your thighs" from ridicule with a sublime, spiralling yodel.

It's their interplay that holds one's attention, but ultimately the album pays the price for leaping so swiftly into the boudoir and dithering around with all the interludes: about two-thirds of the way through, it's all but relaxing with a post-coital ciggy, but the boys are still groaning on regardless. Don't they have any hobbies they could be getting on with?

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