While not as impressive or engaging as After the Storm, Just Chillin' is a nice and mellow continuation of the work Norman Brown did on Celebration. The slick guitarist has always been good at pumping up the R&B attitude on his smooth jazz releases, and Just Chillin' is no exception. There is something more urban and gritty on these tracks than many of his instrumental pop contemporaries' albums. Maybe it's the live horn backgrounds, or his immense guitar technique that feels more substantial than the norm. In any case, about the worse thing you can say here is that the album relies a little too much on programmed drums than his earlier releases. There is also a preponderance of mid-tempo jams that could take you all the way past chillin' to full-on nappin'. No matter, "The Feeling I Get" sounds like instrumental Maxwell, and Janet Jackson's "Let's Wait Awhile" fits perfectly in Brown's overall vision to turn jazz to pop and vice versa and is easily one of the standout tracks.
Just Chillin' Review
by Matt Collar