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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

And So It Is...

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Oct
And So It Is...
Sounds like … Justin Timberlake, Usher, Frankie J, Omarion, and other urban pop heartthrobsAt a glance … from image, beats, and accessibility, Jontez's first album has all the right elements of an above-average urban pop debutTrack Listing Can't Get Enough I Am Alright Why Can't We Be Friends? Call Me Your Own Anything for Love I'm Not Alone That's What You Said Our Journey Don't Walk Away First Love Rising Son

California-based Jontez is a rarity in Christian music. It's not often that you see labels taking a chance on male Latino artists, especially now that the Latin pop craze of the late '90s is long gone. Urban pop, however, continues to be on the up-and-up, and it's high time someone decided to sign someone who can compete with the sultry gazes and shirtless antics of the Justin Timberlakes and Ushers of the world. With his impressive debut And So It Is …, Jontez scores one for Christians who love soulful pop/R&B.

The former God's Property member fills an ever-widening gap for well-produced urban music within CCM, which is overcrowded with ho-hum pop-rock hopefuls, yet not enough brothers who can just flip their hair back, smile, and dance while crooning their favorite R&B jam. From the opening strains of "Can't Get Enough"—with its layered harmonies, fake guitars, and a rhythmic salsa undercurrent—Jontez means business: "I can't get enough of your love … I'm addicted to you." Who is he talking to? If he didn't confess later that all he knows is because the Bible tells him so, we wouldn't know.

But after that he asserts his motives quite clearly, proffering God-to-man ("I Am," "Our Journey"), man-to-God ("Call Me Your Own"), and man-to-man declarations ("Why Can't We Be Friends?"). All of these songs come from a clear faith-based angle, but like most R&B, rhythm often overpowers rhyme. And So It Is … is no different, exploring various facets of urban pop—R&B-pop, pop soul, Latin pop, ballad pop—without sounding forceful. As a matter of fact, production values are so high and the hooks are so catchy, you'd think you're listening to something churned out by mainstream music's tried-and-true hit-making machines. But in the end, it's just Jontez and his team of unknowns, providing one of the most pleasant surprises of 2005.

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