Six years on from her last studio LP, the third album from Jordin Sparks is finally here. Right Here, Right Now follows a lengthy hiatus from the R&B singer, during which Sparks has made her foray into the acting world with roles in features films, including a remake of the 1976 Supremes inspired Sparkle. Sparks has also endured a number of personal changes, from her highly publicised split from Talk Dirty singer Jason Derulo, to a challenging switch of record labels.
Sparks originally announced that she was beginning work on her third album back in 2010, but acting commitments and difficulties with then label Jive Records put pause to the release. Now signed to Sony Music Entertainment subsidiary Louder Than Life, Right Here, Right Now is the product of a fresh start for Sparks.
Working with label founder and producer Salaam Remi, it’s clear that Sparks has taken that time well in hand. The album is a smooth collection of slow grind tracks, topped off with the bright vocals that first planted Sparks in the spotlight. Leaning more towards a sharper, cleaner sound than the big pop ballads of previous releases, tracks like It Ain’t You and Boyz In The Hood feel like 90’s urban hits. Remi has also brought in heavyweight collaborations with the likes of Shaggy and 2 Chainz, rounding off the album as a serious release.
Right Here, Right Now delivers a full on punch of feelings; packed with low light love songs and strong declarations in They Don’t Give and Tell Him That I Love Him. The album has the feel of both a break up release, also a move on. Describing the album as “pretty music with a bump to it”, Sparks hits the nail on the head, but also underplays the impact of the emotional content of Right Here, Right Now.