So the question on everyone’s mind is whether Jodeci was able to do it? Were they able to put together a solid LP after having been away for 20 years? The industry has changed drastically since they last released an album. Their last release was 1995’s “The Show, The After Party, The Hotel”. Their time away has made way for so many others to step in and command their territory, so to speak. It’s always been said that the longer you’re away, the easier for people to forget about you, but reality is no one has forgotten Jodeci. They made that much an impact with their catalog that fans literally have been wait; not so patiently, for a return.
So here we are, 20 years later, with The Past, The Present, The Future. Truth is, they really do have a lot to prove. You can’t help but reiterate the fact of how long it has been. Their fanbase is that much older. Regardless of how they’ve been waiting for a new album, buying power today does not equal that of 20 years ago. Yes, people are still buying and downloading, but not in their demographic. They have a major task at hand in transitioning their newly re-established brand into album sales. Realistically, that may take some time. For the most part, The Past, The Present, The Future is a solid album. Some tracks sound quite polished and perfected [“Every Moment”, “Too Hot”, “Nobody Wins"], while others sound rushed and incomplete [“Checkin For You”]. One would imagine that once everyone was back on the same page and ready to put music together, they likely jumped in head first, and perhaps rushed through the process. Timbaland provides the backdrop for “Those Things” and “Incredible”, which in itself is great because of the history he has with the fellas. The hook to “Incredible, if you listen closely, plays just a bit on S.O.S. Band’s “Tell Me If You Still Care”, without directly sampling the tune.
How The Past, The Present, The Future fares to you will depend greatly upon what your expectations were to begin with. I, for one, would have liked to see them reinvent themselves. It also would have been nice if some of the tracks dived into the things they’ve struggled with over the last two decades. Honestly, it’s more like they were trying to pick up where they left off. The content is similar, and for the most part, they’re not necessarily doing anything new. That; unfortunately, may work against them. But one thing still remains: they guys are still legends, and it’s good to see them back. All things being said, the album is still worth a listen. They are proving to the masses that despite what happens, and regardless of what struggles you endure, you can still make it through and live your dreams. Hopefully, this is the start of something that will continue to rebuild.