The latest R&B singing sensation out of Chocolate City (Washington D.C. for the rest of the world) has been all the rage on the charts. J Holiday's single “Bed” peaked at #5 on the Billboard Singles charts, and his latest album Bac of My Lac also peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200 charts. After giving the album a first listen, I noticed his appeal to both men and women. His mix of sensitivity and real talk makes him a talent with true promise.
At first, it’s hard to be impressed with the image he portrays. With the plethora of R&B artists out there, it’s hard to sift through the excess. Also, and unfortunately, he and his producers fall into the trap of using the same themes of sex, drugs, and hood tales all in the same song. When done right it can work well, but if not it sounds flat (read: cuts like “Pimp In Me”).
The album also has awesome R&B tracks. On his romantic cuts (like “Betcha Never Had,” and “Without You”), he shows tons of promise. His sensuality and ruggedness work in those instances. His hood songs (“Thug Commandments,” “Ghetto”) show his ability to discuss topics outside of a regular R&B crooner’s range, including politics and how they relate to his own neighborhood.
Through these cuts, he emits a revealing sense of pathos and pride. The crown jewel of the album is his first single, the sensational “Bed,” written by The Dream, writer of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”. It’s the one song I’ve personally had on rotation for a while. The poetry, the cadence, and the flow of the song made me anxious to see what his album had in store, and that’s where J. Holiday can really show and prove what he's got.
Whether he can separate himself from the rest of the R&B contenders out there is left to be seen.Powered by Sidelines