|1||Fallen Out of Love||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|5||How To Fix It||N/A||N/A||video|
|10||If You Let Me||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|14||Can't Help It||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|15||I'll Do It||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|16||Can't Stand The Thought||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|18||Stay Here Tonight||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|20||If I Ever Fall In Love||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|24||Here Goes My Number||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|27||Closest Thing to Perfect||N/A||N/A||video|
|28||Along For The Ride||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|29||Joy From Pain||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|30||Seasons Of Us||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|31||What Can I Do||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As we've added new albums to R&B Haven, I've been surprised by how short albums have become. It seems like every album is 10 tracks of 3-3.5 minutes each, coming in at a total of about 30-35 minutes. With Jagged Love Story, Jagged Edge has gone the opposite route, dropping an album with 31 songs that clocks in at 2 hours of music.
This album has been a long journey, as its original release date was in mid 2019. Instead, releasing in August 2020, I'm not sure if the group just added a new song every month the album was delayed. There had been some disappointment with Layover, so it is possible the group wanted to take their time with this one.
If that was their approach, the time might have been perfecting the product, rather than expanding it. The album is long, and unfortunately, sometimes it feels long. As Jagged Love Story kicks off, the first four songs just blurred together to me. They seemed laden with autotune, the lyrics were forgettable and the delivery was almost mumbley. In truth, it felt like filler material.
The album does pick up a bit as Jagged Edge hits their stride. The guys are best with the mid-tempo jams, and How To Fix It and Decided hit that note right. There's a solid string of four or five songs here that I would keep on a regular rotation, but it starts to fade again.
Wind Mill and I Wanna are skippable. Can't Help It has some reggae feel to it but just sounds messy overall. Cuffs has some painful falsetto that just doesn't work. Karma seems to go too long without saying enough. A lot of the one or two word tracks seem to fall short, which perhaps was a sign with the effort put into the names of the songs.
The album goes out with a bang, with the last 4 or 5 songs all being solid. Seasons of Us was by Bryan Michael-Cox and is a classic track. Along for the Ride has a great vibe to the delivery and feels like the group put effort into it. And then of course, the album ends with What Can I Do and we hear Jermaine Dupri back in action. The end of the album is so solid, it makes you sad over what could have been.
Jagged Edge has always been better with the production than lyrics, and this album definitely fits that vein. A lot of the song's lyrics are forgettable, with most of the tracks feeling like they're saying conventional messages without really offering any deeper way of looking at them, or with an interesting take on the production that makes it unique. When they do get creative, like Stop Light in which they compare their relationship to the way a stoplight has red, yellow, and green lights it almost feels like a parody similar to the mock movie trailers in Tropic Thunder.
However, when all is said and done, I've always been on the fence about Jagged Edge. I enjoy their hits and their commitment to the game, but have never felt they've been able to elevate to that next level of R&B music. If you're a major fan of the group, this album is a blessing. But as a casual listener, there's not much here to make me a believer.
Listening to this album, I understand more why artists do just ten tracks. Within Jagged Love Story, there's a solid 10-12 track album. However, when you sift through 30+ tracks to get to it, the album becomes more of a blur of decent, but forgettable songs. Ultimately less is more, and the refined cut of this album might have done a better job winning me over and keeping this album in my playlist.
My recommended remake of the album: How to Fix It, Decided, Exit Wounds, Long Haul, Closest Thing to Perfect, Along for the Ride. Joy From Pain, Seasons of Us, What Can I Do.