Song: “All About You”
Artist: Donell Jones
Album: My Heart (1996)
For those of us whose souls melt with the play of any 90s R&B slow-jam staple, whether off the discogs of Xscape, Jodeci, Jagged Edge, or Mary J., ‘Throwback Thursday’ is a lifestyle. We yearn for Aaliyah-themed, Tommy Hilfiger-decked 90s DJ nights, the karaoke revival of lovey Avant & Keke duets, and anything that triggers flashback to the unassuming purity of New jack swing music videos, complete with over-emotional guy group crooning—gestures and all, dressed in matching vinyl bomber jackets.
Donell Jones, sleek R&B hit-maker during the same golden era, gained the most appeal with his ’99 release of Where I Wanna Be, home of the classic “U Know What’s Up“, a Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes collaboration (R.I.P.) popularized by the iconic studio lesson scene from Save The Last Dance.
Before all the radio play came Jones’ 1996 freshman studio album, My Heart. The Chicago-born artist, first taken on by LaFace records and hired for ghostwriting gigs around the same time (see: Usher’s “Think of You“, 702’s “Get It Together“), offered an especially unique edge as a self-produced/self-written anomaly. He did most of the same on his breakout EP.
Sailing on a ’74 blazing-hot, jazzy Kool & The Gang sample, “All About You” is the epitome of Donell cool, dressed in unabashed devotion. Remixed by DJ Eddie F for a lusher, uptempo-ed instrumental, the extended track hums with the singer’s silky-tone vocals. As the balmy jam sways, Jones echos his adoration; [“I’d swim a thousand seas just to be with you/’Cause I’m willing to go that far no matter where you are…”].