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July 15, 2024

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Public Announcement
All Work, No Play (A&M Records)

By: ShortyDiva

The debut release from the fella's (well, one fella) that once backed up Mr. Robert Kelly (R. Kelly) has arrived. The album, "All Work, No Play" is an album that certainly follows the traditional Chi-Town sound that R. Kelly made his own with his/their 1990 debut album, "Born Into The '90's". The new album by these gentlemen who are aspiring to make a name of their very own is laced with some really nice street influenced music that is true to the R&B genre. From the lewd and asinine to the sometimes tender lyrics and themes the album is what some would call a mix of styles. There are the "booty call" tracks that scream innuendo and suggestion of a sexual nature and then also there are the more sincere tracks which emphasize love and relationships.

On track 1, their lead release, "Body Bumpin (Yippie-Yo)", the name speaks for itself. Here, these guys come with an almost blatant imitation of R. Kelly, from vocals to delivery, it gets sorta hard to tell the two apart. "Turn The Hands" is one of the more R&B influenced songs, with it you get the opportunity to hear them at their more mellow tones. It still has that R. Kelly sound though. My favorite track from the entire album, "It's About Time", is a mid-tempo ballad that is actually a rather smooth, well produced piece. From lyrics to delivery, it's tight. If P.A. were to stick with more songs along these lines, there is no telling how large they would become. Their voices, as male artists, are beautifully strong. There are gospel tones within every note they hum which is a plus in today's musical marketplace. "D.O.G. In Me" which features a rap (ha ha) by Shaq and that dang sound effect machine by Roger Troutman isn't as bad as it sounds. It is a street groove but the vocals are what sets this track apart and makes it worthy of listening to.

Track 5, the title track, 'All Work, No Play" is a slower, smoother song with strong vocals. I like it and rate it as one worthy of frequent turntable play, which is also the case with "Alone". The rushed beat is what makes it noteworthy and rather catchy. A good song with descent vocal arrangements by the group as a whole. "Y To The Yippee (Step On)" is yet another good song with a nice groove, not too overdone though the lyrics do lean towards the lame side of the lyrical spectrum. "Straight From The Heart" seems to be a tribute to the old school style and their harmonies accentuate their abilities as an up and coming "vocal" R&B group. "Homey" is, to put it plain and simple, somewhat useless. There is no real reason why it should have even been produced in the first place, it serves as a reminder that these guys were once in the background and validates why R. Kelly became the star. "Lonely" is a subtle track that once again shows that there is actual strength in P.A.'s vocal abilities. The mellow guitar that serves as background lends to their honest talents. Very nice! The final track, "Children Hold On" is in the tradition of R. Kelly ballad/anthems that have in recent years propelled him to star status. Nice message but let R. do it himself next time.

This album gains a strong 3 from me. With better writing, stronger ballads and the dissipation of those hokier tracks with little or no message and meaning, Public Announcement may prove to be a group with a name of their own. For now they are still in the R. Kelly shadow which isn't a bad place to be but to be considered serious artists, second rate is not the intended goal. Their vocal talents are strong and gospel roots do show through but that alone can not sustain an entire album. They have what it takes, they just need to reach a little higher material wise.

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