R & B act Joe AKA Joe Lewis Thomas has been making music longer than most people think. Joe launched his music career in 1993 with his debut album Everything. The album received only a luke-warm reception critically and this reflected in the lacklustre sales it generated.
It wasn't until the single All the Things (Your Man Won't Do) was released in 1996 from the soundtrack for Don't Be a Menace that Joe really began to make waves in the R&B world. The song was certified gold by Billboard and ensured Joe's sophomore album All That I Am reached platinum status and the top spot on the charts.
Joe's place in the R&B world was cemented in 2000 when the song Stutter rose to the top spot on both the pop & R&B Billboard charts, quickly followed by his third album My Name Is Joe.
Joe - The Video Collection is a nice document of music videos from his two most commercial albums, and it is obvious from the interview with Joe included on this disc that he really likes doing what he does (who wouldn't?).
The track listing is as follows;
I Wanna Know
Stutter (Remix featuring Mystikal)
No One Else Comes Close
All That I Am
Treat Her Like a Lady
Don't Want to be a Player No More
The Love Scene
All the Things Your Man Won't Do
I Wanna Know (Live)
I Believe in You
Treat Her Like a Lady (Live on BET)
An 11 minute documentary precedes the videos which features an interview that gives a good insight into the artist that is Joe.
All video is presented in either a full screen or 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Regardless of this however, the images throughout are sharp and detailed and really do look good. I was surprised by the depth of colour and the effective use of it to set the tone of the song being performed. There did not seem to be any problem with MPEG artefacts or film noise, and compression artefacts did not feature at all. It is obvious that Joe likes the camera, and some of the videos do come across as being slightly 'squirmish', with Joe almost seducing the camera lens a little too effectively. But hey, this is how it's done in the world of R&B.
In the audio department we are given both a 2.0 and a 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack to choose from. Both tracks are very clean and provide a nice full soundtrack that complement Joe's music very well. The surrounds are used very effectively in the 5.1 mix, with both music and effects being mixed nicely to envelop the viewer. The opening of All the Things (Your Man Won't Do) is the best example of this, with the rain scene sounding better than a lot of big production movies that shall remain nameless - very nice indeed. The sub is given a hefty workout, and so it should with Joe's music which features throbbing beats frequently!
Lovers of Joe and R&B music in general will appreciate this release, for it is a great collection of music videos from Joe's career so far, and shows him for the talented musical artist he is.