Taking his cue from Teddy Riley (the New Jack Swinger who fused hip-hop's
attitude with the smoothed-out sounds of R&B), Montell Jordan emerged in
1995 from the South Central gangland of L.A. to create his own sound.
With his fresh musical brew, Jordan set off minor shockwaves throughout
the pop-culture landscape with his first (and only) big hit, "This Is How
We Do It," which featured a rat-a-tat-tat snare drummachine rhythm
and a vocal that swung hard. His follow-up, More to Tell, wasn't
a commercial washout, but he has never regained the momentum of his debut
Jordan's fourth album, Get It On ... Tonite, sports a mellow,
down-tempo vibe similar to that of More to Tell. Even though the
album is divided into two halves "For Those Who Like It Fast" and
"For Those Who Need It Slow" nothing prompts any major hip action
the way "This Is How We Do It" did. The "fast" side really isn't that
fast, nor are the beats very big which is fine, because Jordan
demonstrates on such songs as "Time to Say Goodbye" (RealAudio
excerpt) and "Last Night (Can We Move On?)" (RealAudio
excerpt) that his forté lies in crooning.
The first song, "Get It On Tonite" (RealAudio
excerpt), is perhaps the best song he has ever recorded. Featuring
a lilting melody line propelled by a subtly bouncy rhythm, Jordan's soft
and emotive vocals ride an infectious hook that transcends relatively
tired lyrical clichés, including "Girl, if it's all right/ Let's
go somewhere and get it on tonite/ You shouldn't have to be alone tonite/
It's one-on-one tonite."
Although there aren't many lows, unfortunately, there are few highs, aside
from the title track. But it's a solid and sexy album, one that will
definitely add passion to any tangled-sheet bedroom symphony you might
want to conduct.