K-Ci & JoJo


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X is the Roman numeral for ten, and this late-2000 release is titled X because it marks Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey and Joel "JoJo" Hailey's tenth anniversary in the recording business -- first as one half of the trio Jodeci, then as the duo K-Ci & JoJo. X, the duo's third album, isn't a radical departure from its two previous albums; like 1997's Love Always and 1999's double-platinum It's Real, this CD emphasizes romantic material and combines a high-tech urban contemporary production style with an appreciation of classic soul. K-Ci & Jo-Jo were never a carbon copy of Jodeci, and X won't be mistaken for Diary of a Mad Band. Though X contains a few hip-hop-minded, up-tempo selections (including "Game Face" and "Thug N U Thug N Me"), romantic ballads and slow jams are dominant. A few of the tunes are retro-soul gems -- especially "Wanna Do You Right" and the Bobby Womack-influenced "I Can't Find the Words" -- although most of the time, X is merely decent urban contemporary. One thing that's never in doubt is the Hailey Brothers' skills as vocalists; while a lot of urban contemporary artists get over on image alone, K-Ci & JoJo really do have impressive vocal ranges. X isn't a masterpiece, but unlike all of the urban artists who have nothing more than image and attitude going for them, the Hailey siblings bring some genuine talent to this generally pleasant, if predictable, CD.

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