I first heard D.J. Rogers Jr.'s "Lonely Girl" in June 2002 while waiting for The Sum of All Fears to begin at a movie theater in Hendersonville, North Carolina. It was part of the piped-in music provided by United Artists Cinemas, and Rogers was identified as the "hot new artist" behind the song after it played. I was immediately struck by "Lonely Girl's" smooth hooks, and I still think it's one of the best songs of the past decade.
Unfortunately, the album that housed the song, Emosoul, the title of which seemed to piggyback off the "emo" subgenre of pop-rock that was popular at the time via groups like Dashboard Confessional and Jimmy Eat World, was barely released at the end of '02. In fact I'm not sure if anything more than promotional copies were pressed by Rogers's label, Motown.
"Lonely Girl" should've been a hit. And because I liked it so much I ended up asking for a greatest-hits compilation by Rogers's dad, an R&B-gospel singer who was popular in the late '70s and early '80s, for Christmas in 2005. I wasn't disappointed: Golden Classics is well worth a listen.