"No fear, no shame, you don't have to worry 'bout a thang." You Don't Have To Worry - En Vogue
I have not had a musical entry lately because I have been balancing work and dealing with school, so as you can imagine my plate has been full. I am working on some things on the horizon, so be patient with me. By the way, a quick shout out to my sis-in-law, who pointed out to me that today would be my 100th entry. So congrats to me! I never thought I would get this far. Very happy to know that I have reached here and still have so much more to share with you. However, in the mean and in between time I have decided to revisit a post that I have not done in a very long time. I will hit upon everyone's favorite - the elusive Flashback Album of The Week.
My album pick of the week is from a female group that set the standard and held that bar high for others to follow. And truth be told, personally I feel that no other female group can really hold a light to them. Well, except perhaps Destiny's Child. The fashion was second to none, their beauty was natural and their voices were unmistakable. The album of the week is:
En Vogue, consisting of Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones and Terry Ellis was and still is that female group on the tip of our tongues. I loved how they burst onto the scene with their bold sangin' selves. They were powerful and there was no denying their talent. I still remember watching Soul In The City (Canadian version of Video Soul) when "Hold On" premiered. Those black stretch dresses were not to be forgotten and would soon be a fashion statement emulated by many. Let's not forget the choreography - simple, sensual, strategic, it was all in play and these sexy women brought it all to life. I took it upon myself to actually learn the steps and perform it at our school talent show with a couple of the gals. What a show that was, the hotness was in the building.
En Vogue's star catapulted after the release of "Hold On" and the tracks that followed were just as assertive as the first one. "Lies" was a funky tirade about why and how we get by through life on lies. The black and white video solidified their fashion sensibility and Supreme-like choreography as their niche. There was no other act who had that on lock. When "You Don't Have To Worry" was released, I remember running home to tape En Vogue on Oprah. The scene replays in my head like it was yesterday - the group in their pastel colors and black shorts, choreographed meticulously as always, singing their asses off and having fun. I believe I still have it on video. Their last release from the album, "Don't Go" was a sexy ballad that made its way to many a make-up slow jam cassette I am sure. Hell, it was on mine. It so happens to be my favorite song on the album. The begging, the urgency and the sex trickling from that song is ridiculous. Put it on after a fight with your significant other, I guarantee someone is getting some by the end of the night. Guarantee.
I think the awe induced marvel of this group, is the fact that each and everyone of them had talent and could sing. It was a group where the lead was changed frequently and everyone blended in seamlessly without effort. Whether in backup mode or as the lead, each one shined as a group member or as the pilot. Born To Sing is another one of those albums in my catalogue, that I can proudly say I can play front to back. Of course we have Foster and McElroy to thank for that, because their vision to bring forth a 60's type group brought us one of the best selling female groups to come our way. I still don't understand why they do not own a Grammy, but that is another entry. The unfortunate departure of Dawn was too much for the group and they just couldn't recover. I can go on about the departure, Lucy Pearl, Terry's solo album, Dawn's solo album, Amanda Cole, Rhona Bennett (like a revolving door came and gone twice over), the return of Dawn - but I will not. I will most likely end up covering it as I tackle another album somewhere down the line. What matters is En Vogue is presently a group again. I know when I saw all original members in Stevie Wonder's video for "So What's The Fuss," I broke out into the Roger Rabbit, Running Man and The Wop. And when they graced the stage during Alicia Keys' throwback performance on the BET Awards, I was floored. I was disappointed that I missed their performance at B.B. Kings in August, but I am hoping that Dawn will not have another fleeing moment and they will return. All I can do is pray and give thanks on this Thanksgiving day that they are still making music and hope that their album will actually come to fruition soon. I would rather see it on iTunes than to hear about the delays, push backs and sudden shelving of the project. That my friends, will have me in an uproar. For more info on En Vogue, you can go to their MySpace page here.
My En Vogue vid of the day: Well I had to go with my favorite, come on now...
Happy Thanksgiving to my American peeps, I will be celebrating with you. :)
See y'all soon...