The first late-'80s/early-'90s installment of Rhino's popular Smooth Grooves series, New Jack Ballads, Vol. 1 leans toward conventional urban R&B instead of the hip-hop-inflected contemporary R&B that came to define new jack R&B. Even if the music on Vol. 1 isn't strictly new jack R&B, it's nevertheless first-rate urban soul, one of the best, most comprehensive discs of its kind on the market, featuring such hits as LeVert's "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind," Ready for the World's "Love You Down," the System's "Don't Disturb This Groove," Guy's "Goodbye Love," Surface's "Happy," the Jets' "You Got It All" and the Gap Band's "I Found My Baby."
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine