Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Legal Tender: A Dream/Nobody (CDM) (Lo Key Records, 199x)

A further obscure quartet from the 90s who never went beyond this one release. There is no title on the front but the main tracks are A Dream (a DeBarge cover from 1983) and the funky, smooth original Nobody which may have been released along with it as a double-A side (as from the quite old music video that can be found on You Tube.) From Queens, NY, their harmonies are very similar to Xscape's and the lead singer's voice bears more than a passing resemblance to their own lead singer LaTocha Scott's. No date of release but a review of the former song in Billboard Magazine possibly puts it at around February, 1997. Unfortunately - as with a lot of these really obscure 90s groups - they seemed to be the only R&B act on their mostly all-rap label.

****No widely circulated mp3s from unknown sources; only original purchases on my blog****

A Dream (Radio Mix) 3:45
A Dream (Instrumental) 3:48
A Dream (Drum Drop) 3:54
A Dream (Acapella) 3:22
Nobody (Radio Mix) 4:19
Nobody (Instrumental) 4:19
Nobody (Bass Mix) 4:18

Ablaize: Catch On Fire (Your Move Music, 2001)

Contemporary R&B and gospel from Little Rock natives Ablaize who were definitely up there with Trin-i-tee 5:7, Ramiyah and Out Of Eden when it came to blending powerful worship songs with hot urban flavors. Coming from somebody who is not really all that fond of gospel, I quite enjoyed their work which - from the DC-esque "independent women" anthem Ain't Gonna Be That Way to the souped-up Church favorite Catch On Fire to the soulful harmonies of Can't Hold My Peace - is mostly very radio friendly.

Catch On Fire 4:26
What Is This 4:35
Can't Hold My Peace 4:40
Ain't Gonna Be That Way 4:57
King Of Glory 4:59
Special Love 5:08
Made 2 Love U 4:50
Everything Belongs To Him 4:04
Take This Pain 5:54
Glory 4:26
Spend Some Time 5:05
Thou Shall Be Saved 4:28
The Worship Song 8:28

Monday, March 20, 2017

Floetry: Floetic Demos (2x Promo CDr) (Universal Publishing Group, 200x)

From London, a further new group (duo) to emerge in the early 2000s that came with the others. Like fellow neo-soul duo Aaries, they weren't really a replacement for Destiny's Child but did enjoy some degree of success between 2002-2005. They were helped in part by DJ Jazzy Jeff and his Touch Of Jazz Productions who previously helped bring much unsigned talent (specifically out of Philly) to prominence. Like his previous protegee Jill Scott, their music was primarily neo soul with spoken word, jazz and hip hop elements. They were signed to DreamWorks Records until it merged into

Sunday, March 19, 2017

B.E. Loved: So Real (CDM) (MoFaith Music, 2007)

A further obscurity from the mid 2000s era which I know nothing about but from Fort Lauderdale, FL as per the record company. Vocally similar to CeCe Peniston, the original track is funky soul-gospel but it comes backed with a more upbeat remix which is more in line with the mid 2000s electronic R&B sound.

Many thanks again to Stuaaart to the contribution.

So Real [LP Version] 5:13
So Real [Dexta's Lab Remix] 4:48
So Real [Accapella] 4:37

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Elicea: I Shall Survive (CDM) (Binggae Production, 2000)

From Kingston, Jamaica, a further obscure artist that I cannot find a scrap of information on but the label Binggae Production Limited appears to have been strictly a reggae label with a (very) limited back catalog of mainly 7" records (a popular format in Jamaica, even in the early 2000s and especially for DJ mashups.) The above song is primarily pop-reggaeton with a slight urban edge. Though it doesn't technically fall into the R&B category, she has deep, soulful vocals and cites Whitney Houston, Kelly Price and Yolanda Adams as main influences.

According to the inlay, she recorded three other songs for the label Bahamien Boy, Do-Wee and Blue Moon (adapted.)

Many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution. 

Radio Mix 3:38
Original Mix 3:44
Tracks Mix 3:43
Instrumental 3:33

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Eddie Robinson: Love, Life And Heartache (DiamondLife Records, 2000)

Not be confused with fellow Michigan (Detroit) soul & blues singer Eddie (Clay) Robinson, more Great Lakes R&B from a Lansing guy whose luscious, rich baritone echos that of Luther Vandross but whose music has a strictly contemporary feel. His only album and, as far as I know, his only release to date, it is mainly a  mixture of romantic slow jams and nu-school contemporary R&B numbers with smooth, velvety harmonies. Standout tracks include the G-Funk-inspired It's On and Will You, which is a masterpiece of quiet storm. Definitely a welcome addition to my ever-growing library of male artists and further proof that Michigan (like Chicago, IL) was - and probably still is - one of the top places to go to for quality underground R&B music.

Intro 3:03
It's On 3:35
You Can't Come Back 3:45
Interlude (Love, Life And Heartache) 0:42
Will You 4:39
Be Mine 4:16
You're My Everything 3:42
Do You Wanna Play 4:31
You're My Latest Greatest Inspiration 3:57
Love Life And Heartache 6:07
Can't Wait To See You 5:31