K-Ci & JoJo

It's Real

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K-Ci & JoJo's first album Love Always established the Jodeci refugees as fine R&B vocalists, blending classic soul traditions with contemporary urban production and technique. Blessed with strong sales and good reviews, Love Always became a hit, setting up high expectations for the duo's second album, It's Real. For those expecting a flat-out masterpiece, It's Real will disappoint, primarily because it doesn't so much as expand on past glories as it simply replicates them. Since they're good singers with generally good material, this isn't a problem, even if it makes it all seem a little too pat and predictable. Occasionally, the Hailey brothers decide to rely a little bit too much on their impressive vocal technique, taking off on soaring glissanados that ultimately distract as much as they impress. That, combined with the stylistic similarity of the material, makes It's Real bog down a little bit, but the very best moments -- "Makin' Me Say Goodbye," "I Wanna Get to Know You," "How Long Must I Cry," "Hello Darlin'," among others -- are contemporary urban romantic soul at its finest, which is reason enough to hear the disc.

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