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Friday, June 06, 2008

Groove With Me...

"You know that its true, you can call me crazy!"  Guy - You Can Call Me Crazy

It is Friday yet again!  Why is it when you want the week to speed by, it usually goes at a turtle's pace and vice versa?  This is one of the weeks that I would have preferred that it went slowly, as I am heading back to Toronto for the summer.  I don't want to leave NYC for the obvious reason that there is nothing and I mean NOTHING like New York in the summertime.  But I see it this way, the silver lining for me is seeing family and friends, touching base with the peoples, catching shows and keeping up with the writing gigs from TDot.  I will be right back in Brooklyn come September, to pick up where I left off.

So with that said, the album of the week is:

The New Jack Swing era was brought forth by producer extraordinaire Mr. Teddy Riley, with the merging of r&b and hip-hop a new sound was born in the streets.  Teddy's known vehicle of delivery was none other than the assembling of Aaron "Nasty Man" Hall, Teddy himself and Aaron's brother Damion "Crazy Legs" Hall.  Now the original line up did not include Damion Hall, but Timmy Gatlin (featured on the cover of the album) who was from Teddy's first group Kids At Work.  Personally, I say thank god for Damion, he is so much more memorable.   Teddy Riley's work has not gone unnoticed at all, with collaborations and hits with some of the most well known acts in the industry like Michael Jackson, Al B. Sure!, Heavy D & The Boyz, Blackstreet (just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many more) and notably–Guy, he is seen as an instrumental part of contributing his funky style to the r&b genre in the early 90's.  

It is impossible to turn on this album without movin' and shakin' your ass, unless you don't have a pulse!  Guy is a funky, upbeat, soulful and danceable disc.  The album's domineering opening track "Groove Me" is a testament to true ol' school dancers everywhere, just take a look at the video.  "Teddy's Jam" is a classic instrumental jam with Aaron doing his best Charlie Wilson in the background, "You Can Call Me Crazy" is a solid Al B Sure! mistaken track–no y'all it is NOT him!  While the two ballads "Piece Of My Love" and "Goodbye Love" are definitely quiet storm classics as well, with the latter being sampled by Mary J. Blige on "Don't Go".  It seems like the all around word here is "classic", however I will be honest, the one song that does not agree with me is "My Business."  I am so happy that song is at the end of the disc, I still listen to it but would not be heartbroken at all if it somehow got missed on the album.  

Besides Teddy Riley being the formidable producer that he is, bringing us Guy, he also brought us Blackstreet and a host of unmistakeable hits like "My Prerogative", "Do The Right Thing" and "Just Got Paid" just to name a few.  He is still wearing his producer hat and lent a hand in working 0n New Kids On The Block's new album.  And judging from the first single, the album just may be something to talk about.  The voice behind the outfit–Aaron Hall, went on to a promising solo career with his debut solo album The Truth that gave us "Don't Be Afraid" and the heart wrenching "I Miss You."  He also did guest spots on the Boomerang soundtrack with his idol, aforementioned Charlie Wilson and with R. Kelly and a host of R&B male singers called Black Men United (BMU) on the Jason's Lyric soundtrack.  Even though Aaron's star fizzled out (I did not enjoy his album Adults Only) and R. Kelly bit off of him like no one else could do, his voice is distinctive and can never be forgotten.  His brother Damion Hall, was not the strongest vocal performer in my book, but he carried the background bits well.  He went on to bring us his debut solo album Straight To The Point, which was actually pretty good, but his remake of Donny Hathaway's "Song For You" featuring Aaron Hall and his single "Satisfy You" featuring Chante Moore are the definite stand outs and are worth the downloads from iTunes or wherever you plan to cop it.  Look out for Guy, last I heard is that they were working on an album, but who knows with everyone and their cat and dog using a vocoder now a days , what does that leave for Teddy?  God knows I don't want to hear him sing–think of "No Diggity"...ya I thought so.

Flashback of the day:  Well, today I decided to cheat just a bit.  It's not that often that I do so is it?  I have decided to bring three videos your way–a video of each artist doing their Guy thing and their solo thing.

First up, Guy and yes I am aware this was on previously but who cares?  Since I posted the video last time, I thought I would go with the live version at the Apollo this time:

Second, Aaron Hall in a suit and his background dancers wearing Cross Colors (holy ish!!):

And lastly, Damion and Chante Moore doing the damn thing...so sexy!  It's not the original, but the remix is alright...

See y'all on the Canadian side on Monday...

Tha Connoisseur 


Michael A. Gonzales said...

one of my favorite disc in the world; shout out to barry michael cooper for naming new jack swing.

Tha Connoisseur said...

Michael: I totally agree, one of mine too, it is on my "constant rotation" list.

Tha Connoisseur said...

And Michael, I can't believe that I forgot to mention Barry Michael Cooper...for real! :)

Vivrant Thang said...

Hands down, one of my top 3favorite eras in soul music. SO many NJS artists that are still faves today. I LOVE this album and like you, "My Business" was probably the only song I didn't like. LOL!

You should check out EJFlavors blog. He has a series of TIGHT New Jack Swing mixes you can download and reminisce through!

Tha Connoisseur said...

Ms Thang: It really doesn't surprise me that the same song irked us!

And about the blog - SERIOUSLY!!?? I am so on it!! :)