Wednesday, October 26, 2011


4.91 ON A SCALE FROM 1-5

When Soul singer/songwriter Johnny Gill dropped his comeback single "In The Mood," many true fans and critics were happy to see him doing what he does best; recording great, quality and tasteful music in the age where most of todays R&B singers are dropping songs that are sexually explict and blunt, and while I enjoy listening to the freaky songs, there's nothing like enjoying the sound of Soul singers singing romantic songs that makes you use your imagination and get you in the mood for romance, and that's why Johnny has been around for close to 30 years, and is one of the industry's well loved, respected and admired singers in the game, inspring many singers includng singer/songwriter JR. Skills or J.G. as he's called by peers and fans have captivated us with his strong Gospel-trained baritone in 1984, when he teamed with childhood friend Stacy Lattisaw for the hit album and single "Perfect Combination" as well as scoring a minor hit with "Half Crazy." Gill became a household name when he became a member of New Edition, and helped the Boston group crack the adult music market on their platnium classic album "Heartbreak" as well as singing on their R&B chart topping "Can You Stand The Rain" and the radio hit "Boys To Men." He also relaunched his solo career and made history by being the first album to have an album produced by two of the industry's hottest producing teams, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis from the Funk band The Time and L.A. Reid & Babyface of the Adult Comptemporary group The Deele, and scored with the classics "Rub You The Right Way," "Fairweather Friend" and "My, My, My' which became J.G.'s signature song. He also recorded on several hit soundtracks and teamed up with Gerald LeVert and Keith Sweat for the trip LSG and scored with the hits "My Body" and "Door # 1" which earned the trio numerous award nominations for Best New Artist.
Well Skills is back with "Still Winning" his first new release in 16 years, which plans on be a hit with those who love and appreciate good music and powerful singing. Serving as co-executive producer, Gill enlisted the services of Sanchez Holmes, Bryan-Michael Cox, Troy Taylor, Vincent Watson, Kevin Ross and longtime producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who long with their portuges Johnny Jackson and James "Big Jim" Wright to make this release a hit. Johnny also co-wrote and produced several songs including the title track, which has a hot live feel courtesy of the guitar, bass, beats, and the call and response he has with himself, giving it a hard Rock & Soul vibe, and while it would have been slightly better had the song had effects of an live audience, the lyrics and Skills ad-libbing 'na-na-na-na-na- compensates for the loss. The mid-tempo ballad "Let's Stay Together", which has nice and tasteful lyrics, and showcase the rare times Skills sing in mid-range. His comeback single "In The Mood" is still getting play on radio and positive feedback from fans. Written and produced by J.G. and Ralph Stacy, this ballad sounds like the sequels to his classics "Rub You The Right Way" and "Let's Get The Mood Right" with classy piano riffs, and romantic lyrics about getting ready to make love.

Tonight's the night I'm going all in
and I want you bad right now
I wanna lay you on the couch
Or we can do it on the couch
I'm gonna give you more
Let's take it to the bed
Where's nothing else needs to be said
Just give me your love. I'll give it all back girl
I'm in the mood
I wanna be next to you

A great song for couples to play while dining, cuddling, and making hot passionate love, along with "Black Box" and the inspirational "Just The Way You Are" which will become a hit with fans, who are constanly being told how they should act by their lovers. In addition to the beats, the song has great lyrics about a guy telling a female that they don't have to change and their fine they way their are.

What more do I have to say
Girl you're perfect in everyway
I'm gonna be there for you.
Whenever you need
Don't worry baby
You don't have to change on me.
You don't have to change
You can stay the same
Girl I love you just the way you are.

J.G. is joined by Keith Sweat and The O'Jays' lead singer Eddie LeVert on the smooth flowing ballad "Long, Long Time" which will be a hit with the grown folks and youth with old souls, The song has nice strings, guitars and great vocal performances by the three music veterans, who cut loose vocally towards the end of the song, showing their individual styles. Especially LeVert, who performs his trademark line 'oh baby, oh baby' riff making his songs Gerald and Sean smile in heaven. "Who Is He" is another composition that Gill co-wrote and produced that will be a hit with the adults. The song sounds likes updated versions of Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You," and Luther Vandross' "Superstar" and has lyrics about telling a current love that they don't need to be in a bad relationship and they can move on to someone who will treat them like royalty.

Can I be the man to make you feel like a woman again
Who is he
To tell you that you're not a shining star.
When I know that you are.
And who is he
To have you believe you don't deserve the best
I'm here to say you deserve the best.

A Grammy nomination is recommended for this as well as the Kevin Ross-self-penned ballad "2nd Place" where Johnny displays his ability to sing different ranges including falsetto and tenor, while "It Would Be" has the potential to be a cross over hit courtesy of the guitars giving the song a Acoustic Country feel. The CD closes with J.G.'s soulful rendition of the Paul Mc Cartney classic "My Love" which he makes his own. The guitar, strings, and piano riffs, gives the classic an romantic feel, while J.G. takes it home with his trademark powerful ad-libs and riffs, showing fans how you're supposed to cover a song.

Johnny Gill's lastest release is hot and romantic and goes to show that he's able to keep up with the young kids by being himself, which is why he will always be on top and in first place.

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