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You know, maybe there is hope for the ‘good guys' to win in the end after all.
When I reviewed the CD release 'HipRockSoul' by the 4th Avenue Jones', I was still lamenting the shelving of the CD release entitled No Plan B by major record label Interscope/Universal Records who decided not to release the recording after a number of stated intentions to do so. In that review, I also wrote how hard the group works to do their thing to stay viable in the music industry.
Imagine my surprise when I log on to the 4th Avenue Jones' official website and see that the recording that I had given up on ever being able to purchase was now made available exclusively though their website. Needless to say, I was one of the first to purchase it and have been bumpin' it ever since. Before the current Hip-Rock-Soul flavor, the Jones' were simply Hip-Hop/R&B and it was simply marvelous. No Plan B Pt. 2 contains re-workings of tracks “1,2,3”, “Fantasy Is Reality” & the title track “No Plan B” which all sound much better than their original incarnations on the original 2000 release “No Plan B” part one. No Plan B Pt. 2 also has the single “”Move On” as well as other standout tracks “Do Re Mi”, “U Know”, “Seconds 2 Breathe” & “My World” Having the opportunity to hear the Jones' on a big budget recording provides listeners with a great sounding CD experience not heard on “HipRockSoul” due to the collaborations with musician/producers Bobby Ross Avila, IZ(Janet Jackson, Usher, Mya, Macy Gray) and Buster & Shavoni(Boomerang Soundtrack, Yolanda Adams, God's Property). Combining these talents with Ahmad's street level rhymes, Tena's devastating vocals and Tim Stewart's guitar licks makes for a polished recording that was definitely worth the wait. The common thread throughout all 4th Avenue Jones' material are the socio-political commentaries of street life, relationships and struggle to overcome all odds through faith, optimism and perseverance. No Plan B Pt. 2 has a number of songs dealing with the 2 sides of romantic relationships, equally representing the male and female point of view. These diverse points of view are masterfully articulated through Ahmad and Tena's alternating verse/rhymes. If you are a Hip-Hop/R&B fan who like your music served free of explicit themes and profane images, look no further than No Plan B Pt. 2 by the 4th Avenue Jones'. If you are a die-hard fan of the Jones', be sure to also pick up the CD release Respect which is also available on their official website. Respect is not as smooth as No Plan B Pt. 2, but has the same intensity and fun as the original No Plan B,, including the album versions of “Rules Of The Game Pt. 2” and “R.E.S.P.E.C.T” which were previously only available on a CD maxi-single. Fans like me can also look forward to a new release by the 4th Avenue Jones' in 2005 called Stereo-The Evolution of HipRockSoul which will be released through LookAlive Records' new distribution agreement with Gotee Records/EMI. Why the wait for Stereo? Ahmad and Tena Jones, the first husband and wife in a hip-hop band, will close out 2004 by having a child(the first baby in a hip-hop band?) . Finally having the No Plan B CD that I had been waiting to so long for in my possession now makes me wonder if I should rekindle my hope for the eventual release of another shelved recording project Call It What You Want, by L.A. Symphony? With ‘good guys' you never know. Stay tuned…
1. Do Re Mi 2. Move On 3. Travelin' Man 4. Secrets 5. What U Want 6. U Know (feat. NeNe White) 7. Fantasy Is Reality 8. 1, 2, 3 (Remix) 9. I Wish 2 God 10. Hey Now 11. 3 Seconds 2 Breathe (Breakdown part 2) 12. Beautiful Lady 13. My World