In the early to mid-'80s, few R&B producers were more prolific than Kashif. Whether he was working with Evelyn "Champagne" King, George Benson, or Melba Moore, Kashif had no problem making an R&B recording sound great. Another artist who benefited from Kashif's studio savvy was Howard Johnson, who debuted as a solo artist with 1982's impressive Keepin' Love New. The Kashif sound -- sophisticated and stylish, yet funky and not without grit -- is all over this LP, which he produced with Paul Lawrence Jones and Morrie Brown. Johnson and Kashif prove to be a strong combination throughout this album; the addictive party jam "So Fine" (a Top Five R&B hit that Kashif wrote) is a gem, and album tracks like "Say You Wanna" and "So Glad You're My Lady" are also quite memorable. Freddie Jackson fans should be aware that Keepin' Love New also contains the first recorded version of "Jam Tonight"; Jackson's better-known version didn't come out until 1986. With this release, Johnson's career was off to a promising start. It's too bad the singer didn't have more longevity.