Thursday, December 30, 2004

R&B Ballads - #9


Parlé - I'm a Ruff Ryder


All the days that she's cried, but never once did I ever see the pain in her eyes

Woo-hoo!: These guys (yes, they're a group) sing really well. As you may have guessed, they're Ruff Ryders which immediately gives them points in my book. I think an excerpt from this site says it best:
As the pitbulls of R&B, their sound is sharp, compact and deadly to the ears
of listeners who are looking for a certain mellow edge. With their distinctive
voices, AG brings the Soul of Al Green, Dee brings the smoothness of Smokey
Robinson, and Twan brings the gritty like Bobby Brown or a male version of Mary
J. Blige. With more sound and energy than any R&B trio out there, Parle' is
filled with soul.

D'oh!: First O-Town and now Parlé? Those are probably 2 groups you wouldn't have thought would be on this list. I have to take some points off for the title. This song did come off the Ruff Ryders compilation album (Ryde or Die Vol. 1) so there's no need to tell us (not only in the title, but in the chorus as well) that you are a Ruff Ryder. We kinda figured.

The Deal: I swear, I knew these guys were going to be the next 112. I mean, there was no doubt in my mind. So what happened? No clue. I'm pretty sure I've ever heard another song from them. No wait, I think they had a song on Vol. 2 as well. But anyway, this just goes to prove that even I can be wrong about some things.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

R&B Ballads - #10


O-Town - All or Nothing


Don't make me promises, baby, you never did know how to keep them well

Woo-hoo!: Smooth stuff here from, gulp, O-Town. They don't just jump right into the song. Instead, they start off nice and slow with just a piano and one guy singing. Then they slowly build from there. That's good advice for anything you're doing in life: get a base first and then build off that. Even the chorus here is well-rounded with a full flavor.

D'oh!: O-Town?!?! Yeah, I'm just as shocked as you. It's like that time the Florida Marlins won the World Series (the first time; they beat the Yankees the 2nd time, so I can't complain). But what can I say, it was a good song. What kept it from being better? Well, being a boy band doesn't help of course. Not that there's anything wrong with that. BUT, you can just hear it in the song. It seems too manufactured. Perhaps they were just trying too hard.

The Deal: Does this signal a coming of a new age? One where boy bands dominate the top 10 and true artists are left to contemplate where it all went so wrong? Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

R&B Ballads - #11


4PM - Sukiyaki


It's all because of you, I'm feeling sad and blue

Woo-hoo!: I didn't notice until recently, but the first half of this song is smothered with acapella honey, which is sweet. I also like how during that part they snap their fingers; I think cause it makes me feel I could be part of their group. I mean, I can snap my fingers! Give them some points too for, say it with me now, the deep-voiced guy saying stuff in the middle of the song.

D'oh!: Thieves! But didn't everybody and their mother do a version of Sukiyaki? (Note: it's known in Japan as Ue o muite aruko [Translation: I look up when I walk]). I guess that means I can't hold it against them. What I can hold against them is their harmonizing, which is mediocre. If they had practiced a bit more they might be celebrating their place in the top 10.

The Deal: Did you know that 4PM stands for "For Positive Music". I bet you didn't know that. But now you do.

R&B Ballads - #12


Shai - If I Ever Fall In Love


Very next time she will be my friend, someone who I can believe in

Woo-hoo!: This song doubles its pleasure with two versions. The one that I prefer is the first version: an acapella. These guys can really sing, and it shows because they harmonize all the way to the bank. The second version isn't bad either. And definite bonus points to the guy speaking during the second non-acapella version. Well played, Shai.

D'oh!: The second version has a really, really slow beat which kind of puts me to sleep. I know they're not expected to fly through the song, but a little haste would've been appreciated. There's also an annoying part in both versions where one of the guys sings the word "friend" in such a high tone, that it shatters human ear drums and dogs come running. Talk about a soprano.

The Deal: I think the title of this song is misleading. It sounds like the author has never fallen in love before and is going to tell us what he would do if he were to fall in love in the future. But in fact, it is clearly stated that he has fallen in love before (to the woman to which this song is addressed) and he ends up telling us what he would do differently in the future.