First Listen: Babyface teams with Jam & Lewis for new single

(November 13, 2020) There was a time in the late 80s and early 90s, when it seemed like every single hit on R&B radio was produced by either Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewisor Babyface & LA Reid. And that was for good reason: the two songwriting and production teams had the magic touch, catching the spirit of the times and creating earwormy songs for dozens of artists ranging from Janet Jackson to Toni Braxton to Boyz II Men to New Edition.

(November 13, 2020) There was a time in the late 80s and early 90s, when it seemed like every single hit on R&B radio was produced by either Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewisor Babyface & LA Reid. And that was for good reason: the two songwriting and production teams had the magic touch, catching the spirit of the times and creating earwormy songs for dozens of artists ranging from Janet Jackson to Toni Braxton to Boyz II Men to New Edition.

As much we have all enjoyed the output of Jam, Lewis and Babyface, we never really had the chance to enjoy them together...until now. As they prepare their upcoming album as performers, Jam & Lewis have recruited Babyface to team with them on the disc's second advance single, "He Don't Know Nothin' Bout It." The five-and-a-half minute ballad tells the familiar tale of a man who is informing the woman he loves that she deserves more than what she's getting from her current boyfriend - of course, she deserves him. Sounding like it could have come from Face's breakout 1989 album, Tender Lover, the song takes its time to develop, moving through classically smooth Babyface bridges and into a bouncier refrain that is as hooky as it is assured.

There's nothing revolutionary about "He Don't Know Nothin' Bout It," but it is meatloaf-and-mashed-potatoes comforting to hear this in 2020, a song this well structured and performed, confident in its own skin and not posing to be something that will please hip-hop obsessed urban radio. This is adult music for adults, and we'll take that.

By Chris Rizik

Jam & Lewis x Babyface
"He Don't Know Nothin' Bout It"

 

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