For Those Who Like It Crooning

Just don't expect anything fast on the 'fast' side.

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 drum–machine 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

single.

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.