Joe has always been–in my humble opinion–consistent as a singer. From his New Jack Swing soaked debut album, to his slew of incredibly notable guest features, to his constant club and radio presence at the turn of the century; he has yet to disappoint me as a listener and has had the fortune of being part of records that keep ringing after all these years. An example was his classic chorus on his 1997 song “Don’t Want To Be A Player” off of the Booty Call OST that became the iconic hook on the remix to Big Punisher’s platinum-selling [mainstream] debut single, “Still Not A Player.” Or how about his collaborations with G-Unit, or the early 2000s club staple “Stutter?”
I digress, though. He’s had so many solo hits over the years, amassed numerous Grammy nominations, murdered the charts [in his day], and has sold millions upon million of records. Since 2008, he’s been releasing independent albums, and just last week, he greeted fans with what Gucci Mane describes as his last album on their radio-ready collaboration, “Happy Hour.” #MYNAMEISJOETHOMAS is Joe’s 12th studio album, and–if it’s true–a wonderful way to cap off an incredible 23-year career in the game. Joe’s distinctive vocals don’t at all disappoint on this record. There’s a little of everything here. The aforementioned Gucci joint, “Don’t Lock Me Out,” the contemporary “Can’t Run From Love, ” and the disco-tinged “Celebrate You” are up-tempo records that could quickly become playlist candy for DJs. There’s also records like “So I Can Have You Back,” which has Joe singing to the ‘one who got away,’ or “Love Centric,” which is reminiscent of R.Kelly’s “Turn Back The Hand Of Time.”
He also has two dope covers to round out the album, a take on Al Green’s Kanye sampled “A Little Tenderness” (“Our Anthem”) and Adele’s hit record, “Hello.” Overall, it’s a solid R&B album from a singer who’s been nothing but consistent for over two decades. Worth a listen for anyone who’s ever considered themselves even a moderate fan of the singer.