Personnel includes: Johnny Gill (vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, programming); Stevie Wonder, Roger Troutman (vocals); Ronnie DeVoe (rap); Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, R. Kelly (various instruments); Tony Rich (acoustic guitar, programming, background vocals); Keith Andes (piano, synthesizer, programming); Al B. Sure! (keyboards, programming, background vocals); Troy Taylor (keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, background vocals); Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds (synthesizer, programming, background vocals); Jerome Jefferson, The Characters, Billy Steele (programming); Joseph Powell (programming, background vocals); Nathan East, Marc Jefferson, Nathan Watts (bass); Marc Nelson, Melvin Edmonds, Big Bub (background vocals).
Producers include: Johnny Gill, R. Kelly, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Al B. Sure!
Able to leap flawlessly from one vocal register to the next, Johnny Gill is his generation's Teddy Pendergrass. His sultry music evokes the soul that dominated R&B radio in the 1970s, and it returns a sense of maturity to the genre. Gill added a near-gospel flavor to HOME AGAIN, the reunion album by his old band, New Edition, and LET'S GET THE MOOD RIGHT, which arrived in stores less than a month later, finds him mastering the simple love song.
There are old-school soul touches all over Gill's romantic crooning on this one. "Touch" is based on the O'Jays' "Cry Together," from which it heavily samples, and Gill ends up inhabiting the O'Jays' old turf. On "Simply Say I Love U," he duets with his friend Stevie Wonder. Producers Tony Rich, Babyface and R. Kelly surround Gill--who also plays guitar, bass and keyboards--with a gentle R&B sound that highlights Gill's talents that much more.
Personnel: Johnny Gill (guitar, keyboards, drum programming, background vocals); Kairi Guinn Styles, Ronnie DeVoe (rap vocals); Babyface (soprano, drum programming); Mike Scott , Nathan East, Charles Fearing (guitar); Tony Rich (acoustic guitar, keyboard programming, drum programming, background vocals); Peter Moore (acoustic guitar); Keith Andes (piano, synthesizer, drum programming); Jimmy Wright (piano); Troy Taylor (keyboards, drums, percussion, background vocals); Kyle West (keyboards); Jerome "Rome" Jefferson (keyboard programming, drum programming); Joseph Powell (drum programming, background vocals); Levar "Lil' Tone" Wilson, Neron Thomas, Tonya Bolden, Tony Hightower, Joe Rich, Manuel Seal, Jr., Marc Nelson, Melvin Edmonds, Angel, R. Kelly, Big Bub, Charles Farrar (background vocals).
Recording information: Ameraycan Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Electric Ladyland Studio, New York, NY; Enterprise Studio, Burbank, CA; Flyte Tyme studios, Edina, MN; KrossWire Studio, Atlanta, GA; Larabee North, Hollywood, CA; Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; Sound Spa, Philadelphia, PA; Studio LaCoCo, Atlanta, GA; Tracken Place, Beverly Hills, CA; Unique Recording Studio, New York, NY; WEstlake Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Carol Friedman.
Arrangers: Jimmy Jam; Joseph Powell; R. Kelly; Troy Taylor; Terry Lewis.
Johnny Gill released his fifth album, Let's Get the Mood Right, only a few months after he participated in the New Edition reunion. In other words, it was timed to cash in on the group's massive comeback success. If he had delivered a dud, such crass commercial planning would have been in poor taste, but it's his strongest album in years, thanks to an excellent selection of songs and a stellar cast of producers, including Babyface, Tony Rich, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Gill shines at smooth soul like the title track, but what is remarkable about the album is how comfortable he sounds with the uptempo, albeit low-key, dance numbers. It's his best, most consistent album since Johnny Gill. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine