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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lyric: Advance Music (Promo CDr) (J Records, 2002)

Along with Isyss, LovHer and Her Sanity, Lyric was yet another female R&B group that emerged in the early 2000s. They were the first female group to be signed to Clive Davis' J Records imprint of RCA Records in 2002 but after three singles Young & Sexy, Episode and Hot & Tipsy (all restricted to 12" vinyl only and only one really widely available to boot), their album was shelved and they disappeared from the J Records roster completely. A similar fate was to befall two others newly signed to the label back then Joi Campbell
(sister of producer Warren "Baby Dub" Campbell) and Monica Arnold; Campbell disappeared after only one single and Arnold's third studio album All Eyez On Me ended up being an expensive Japanese import only. Earlier on, I had brought mention to a 2-CD J Records sampler featuring some of these lost tracks but liking Lyric best of all, I was trying to hunt down their 3trk sampler until I stumbled upon this gem, which features 7 tracks. It's an in-house CD-R or more commonly known as a test pressing and was never intended for duplication, not even for promotional purposes. Not mixed or mastered, I don't know how many were made but it could not have been many. Though grateful for the songs I have found over the years, I am very happy to hear some of them in better quality without mono-sound and random audio glitches. There is no track-listing and the disc is basically just a CD-R with a white label stuck to it stating the recording date, the name of the studio used and whom it was intended for (which in this case was J Records.) The 7 tracks featured include the above three singles, the cancelled fourth single Little Did You Know and three other tracks Sunny Days (which uses an interpolation from the Sesame Street theme tune), I Like (which features an unnamed rapper) and Love 101.  All were to be included on their debut release EPISODE before it was cancelled in favor of Rod Stewart and random rappers. Not as poppy as a lot of the other teenaged R&B groups out at the time, notably 3LW and Blaque, and slots in nicely between the urban-cross over period of the late 90s/early 2000s and the more street-orientated sound that came a little later. Notable producers include Carlos 'Pryceless' McKinney (whose sister Thelma was in the group), Kenny Whitehead (formally of the soul duo The Whitehead Bros.) and Bad Boy affiliated producer Jack Knight.

Young & Sexy 4:04
Episode featuring Shells 4:22
Sunny Days 4:38
I Like 4:09
Love 101 3:51
Hot & Tipsy 4:49
Little Did You Know 3:46