"I put in so much time," Joe sings in a down'n'dirty rasp on "My Love," one of a handful of tracks on Ain't Nothin' Like Me destined to make hopeless R&B romantics swoon. Then, on the same song, he massages away the worries of fans who've been waiting for new Joe material since 2003: "I've got everything under control," he croons. Despite a bunch of release-date pushbacks, Ain't Nothin' Like Me leaves little room for doubt that he does. This is confident, grown-and-sexy music stirred to a pleasing consistency by slick, super-experienced collaborators--Dre, Nas, and G-Unit heavy-hitters Tony Yayo and Young Buck among them. The chugger "Love is Just a Game" grabs hold with grooves that swirl and echo, opener "Get to Know Me" bumps along to a hot Tim & Bob beat, and "Where You At" wins instant sympathy from the lovelorn and the forsaken with its rueful finger-snaps. Frost-free vocals are put to excellent use throughout, and in a way that doesn't emphasize style over honesty. If there's a misstep here, it's the boastful title--any disc of substance deserves a better one. Still, there ain't nothin' else not to like. --Tammy La Gorce
True R&B Lovers need no introduction to this classic R&B star. Joe's fifth Jive release has a stellar lineup of production talent, including The Underdogs, Cool & Dre, Bryan Michael Cox, and Sean Garrett. It also features guest appearances by Nas, Fabolous, Chamillionaire, Papoose, and Young Buck. This album will ensure that the rest of the world gets to know Joe.