Over the years New York City has given birth to many, many, many artists. It’s the city known to never sleep, and as any insomniac will tell you, if you can’t dream with your eyes shut then you should really just live your dreams with your eyes open. And that sounds exactly what hip-hop/R&B artist Josey Wellz has done on his debut album called I Can’t Help Myself (Josey Wellz Productions).
Six songs from this former New Yorker (he’s now relocated to Atlanta, GA) that get the ball rolling for his newly launched music career. The opener for this newly minted compilation is also the title track and the featured radio single of the lot. It’s where he introduces himself to his listening audience using the usual rapper tradition of self name checking during its introduction. A nicely fluid bass line is the stitching that holds the seams tightly together throughout the multiple verses and chorus of this mid-tempo dance number while Wellz holds his own on the microphone.
He follows the title track and slows it down a few ticks on the metronome with Conclusion. Here it’s all about the kind of misdrawn that upset the applecart of love between couples. Or is it? Like a good mystery the scales tip precariously back and forth between someone being wrongly accused of cheating on the one they love to that someone having been caught in flagrante delicto and bold facedly lying to their betrayed lover to protect and keep their bacon out of the frying pan.
For me, Novocaine is the show stopper on I Can’t Help Myself. It kicks the tempo up again and is ads hooky as well stocked lake on the first day of the fishing season. Lyric like “You make me wish I had amnesia/Rewind the time and never meet you/You put me through so much agony/What did I do for this penalty/I try not to live with regrets but /Right now I wish I could forget you/You’re like the throbbing in a bad toothache/What kind of drug would I have to take” are not just clever they’re completely relatable in their simplicity. Mark my words; this will be this song that Josey will make his bones in the music business.
My second favorite selection on I Can’t Help Myself is the KISS-FM sounding I Know. It has the kind of vibe that adult contemporary radio programmers love the play the heck out of round the clock and up and down the dial. It’s a smooth little ditty that you’d move than likely sing along to if it came up on your car radio during drive time and make you completely forget you were, yet again, another rush hour traffic jam. Delicately phrased staccato synth strings are used here to move this song along that tells the woeful tale of being catfished into a doomed relationship.
Fashion Statement is an ode the well dressed woman. Here the sampled or synthesized Indonesian gamelan instruments that stand out the most in this arrangement. Unfortunately this composition is not quite as well crafted as my aforementioned other two favorites, but it is OK. That’s always a song or two on just about every album I’ve ever heard that comes off as sounding like the filler of the musical feast and sadly Fashion Statement is the goat here.
Rounding out the six song set of I Can’t Help Myself is multi-lingual cut called Kissing in Tongues. It’s as sexy as it is smart and as cosmopolitan as it is comfortably homey. Linguistically it crisscrosses the globe then finds its home in the heart. If sophisticated love songs are your cup of tea then this tune may not be the one you’d take home to meet your parents but the one you’d surely invite over to the house while said parents are out of town for a little oodling and canoodling with the lights turned down low. Ooh la la…
If coming out of the gate with I Can’t Help Myself is any indication of just where Mr. Wellz is going in his career in the entertainment business then I’d venture to say the race he’ll run is bound to be a very long one and they’ll be some trophies he’s sure to pick up along the way. You can keep tabs on Josey Wellz via social media at facebook.com/joseywellz001.