90’s R&B Sensation Donell Jones is back with a brand new album 100% Free. It’s been seven years since the singer’s last project and I’d have to say, we have missed his incredible music. 100% Free is unlike any Donell Jones’ album we’ve heard before. This seven-track album explores Jones’ versatility by tapping into different genres of music but also staying true to his R&B roots. I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Jones exclusively at his album release press conference, where he broke down each track and let us know what it truly means to be 100% Free.
On the very first track titled “Fresh”, Jones draws us in with a beat that makes you want to step out on the scene. The lyrical content is what keeps us there. One of my favorite lines from this song is when Jones sings, “90 percent is mental, change the way you think is the key it’s essential”. It’s that message of truly loving and embracing yourself, that sets the tone for the entire album.
We all know Donell Jones for creating these smooth slow jams that make you want to be boo’d up with your lover, and the fourth track “Serious” is no exception. When I first listened to this song, it gave me a nostalgic feel reminiscence of late ‘90s early ‘00s R&B. I asked Jones about his production process creating this song to which he replied, “…It’s kinda hard to explain how I come up with these things, but it’s a feeling. When my guitar player put the guitar on it, it just took it over the top and the lyrics flowed”. This song brings the heat, sex appeal, and Jones’ makes it clear that he is not playing games.
The title track “100% Free” is the last lyric infused song on the album. For this song, Jones taps into a mixture of Reggae and African elements to create this sound and it works. It makes me feel like I’m on an island ready to whine my waist. One can really appreciate the storytelling of this song. In each verse, Jones sings about a man and woman who aren’t living up to their highest potential. Consumed with drama and material things, he opens their eyes to a life beyond the surface where they can live in complete freedom. The message on this track is beautiful and is one I hope isn’t overlooked.
The album closes out with an eight-minute meditation track. It’s a perfect way to end the album. The harmonious sounds bring a certain bliss and tranquility to the listener, allowing them to feel and simply be present. I asked Jones about what mindfulness practices he does to ensure he remains 100% Free and he stated that he meditates daily, his views of the world are different, and he sees every moment as a miracle. If that’s not living 100% Free, I don’t know what is.
This album is a complete body of work that not only shows where Donell Jones is musically but also his growth spiritually. It’s an album that you can play at different stages in your life, which is something Jones has been able to deliver throughout his 25-year career. When speaking about his happiness now Jones said, “I’m happy, life’s been beautiful. I wouldn’t change anything because everything made me who I am today…I’m ready for the journey. We’re here for a reason”. Well Donell Jones, make some room because we are all ready to take that journey right along with you.
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