Sunday, June 25, 2017

"After All" by Al Jarreau

Song#:  2081
Date:  10/13/1984
Debut:  88
Peak:  69
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  After one album where he used the single name moniker of Jarreau, Al Jarreau restored his full name for his seventh album High Crime. He also kept on producer Jay Graydon, who had worked on Jarreau's three previous albums including the Grammy-winning Breakin' Away. Jarreau and Graydon also co-wrote (with other writers) eight of the LP's ten track including this first single, which was co-written with hit producer David Foster. The ballad was a solid fit for AC and it got to #6 on that chart. It also got to #26 at R&B. However, the song couldn't make much headway through the din of 80s Pop and it stalled early on that chart. Despite not have a major Pop or R&B hit, the album would do well getting to #2 Jazz, #12 R&B, and #49 Pop. Eventually, it would be another gold seller for him.

ReduxReview:  Zzzzzz. Okay, this is not a bad song, but I just find it sleepy and boring. It's like Jarreau and Graydon were trying to imitate lesser Carole Bayer Sager compositions. Although I do kinda know what happened during this phase of Jarreau's career (he had hits, Grammy wins, platinum album, etc., and the label pushes...), I still don't understand why he was doing sub-par material like this. Yes, Breakin' Away had a certain Pop sheen, but below it was Jarreau's jazzy roots and the more he tried to become even more commercial, the more he lost what made him special. Even his performance here sounds like he is barely awake. It's just disappointing coming from an artist the caliber of Jarreau.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Even though a good chunk of his 80s output included more Pop/R&B-oriented songs, he would continue to have support from jazz fans. Over the years, nineteen of Jarreau's albums would reach the Top 10 on the Jazz Albums chart with six of them hitting #1. It was most likely this support that would help his next two albums, 1986's L is for Lover and 1988's Heart's Horizon, go gold even though neither album had a single reach the Pop chart. However, Heart's Horizon did featured one R&B hit with the song "So Good" reaching #2.


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