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By 1997 British Girlband Eternal were firmly established as the biggest British R&B group of all time. There was no other band like them at that time and they paved the way for other 'copycat' girlbands which followed a few years later (see Honeyz, Fierce, N-Tyce) who only had minimal success compared to the Eternal.
'Before The Rain' was released in March 1997 and the title of the album is very reflective of what was to come after this album. Before The Rain referring to happiness before a downfall or before something bad was about to happen. And this was the case for Eternal as this was their last studio album as a trio when bandmate Kelle Bryan was sacked from the band (via e-mail) the following year.
'Before The Rain' was Eternal's third album, and features 3 of their singles.
"Don't You Love Me" - The lead single taken from the album, This song became their biggest hit at the time, reaching #3 in the chart. Tackles an array of social issues and has a beautiful introduction and a haunting ending. *****
"I Wanna Be The Only One" - The third and final single to be released from the album and Eternals first (and only) number one single. Features Gospel singer BeBe Winans and is best described as a summery gospel track. Fast forward to the present day and this seems to be the only track Eternal are remembered for, granted it was their biggest hit, but there are many singles in their back catalogue that should still be played on the radio. This was the final single to be taken from the album, which seems a little strange to me. Why would they not bother releasing another single to sell the album after their first ever number one? One of lifes great mysteries! ****
"How Many Tears" - This is an absolutley gorgeous ballad. It's got that typically 90's ballad feel which you can imagine somebody like Whitney or Mariah singing on. I remember it being touted as the foruth single from the album but it never got released in the end. *****
"Grace Under Pressure" - A mysterious titled song here. It's about surviving under the pressure of love. I kind of think its the sister song to 'Don't You Love Me'. Easther Bennett shows off her powerful vocals on this track. ****
"Someday" - Another ballad, and this was released as the first single from the album (albeit 7 months before the album was actually released). It feautred on the soundtrack to the Hunchback of Notre Damne and is a typical Disney ballad. *****.
"Think About Me" - This is a sassy number. Has an American R&B - Pop vibe to it. Basically the girls want their man to think about them 24/7. This song was released as a single in some parts of Europe but not in the UK. ****
"Promises" - This song is a dreamy pop number. There's nothing remarkable about it and is the first 'filler' on the album. The chorus is average but acceptable but the verses don't really go anyhere. **.
"I'm Still Crying" - Kelle Bryan takes on the lead vocals for the whole of this song she also wrote this track too. This is the first time Easther Bennett had not done a lead vocal on an Eternal album track. There were rumours that Easther and Vernie Bennett do not even feature on this (and the next) song due to bad relations between Bryan. You'll have to listen to the track to see if you can identify them. The song however, it's a nice song about break-ups. Bryan's voice really is not in the same league as Bennett's and you can see that she does struggle with some parts of the song. Good effort from her though ****.
"All My Love" - The second song with Kelle Bryan taking lead. I'd say this is very much simmilar to the previous song althought this is more about being in love and 'I'm Still Crying' is more about heartbreak. Again, I'm starting to miss Easthers powerful vox now. ***.
"What Do You Mean When You Say" - Things take a more dramatic turn on the album now with Vernie Bennett taking lead on this ballad. This song has a very Christmassy feel to it. Beautiful. ****
"Why Am I Waiting" - Another filler here i'm afraid. This is the only song on the album that I can't remember how it goes once i've played it. **
"It's Never Too Late" - The album rounds off with an interlude, just over a minute long. It's kind of like a prayer, calling God when times get tough. I don't even think there's any point in rating this track really.
Not a bad effort from Eternal, showcases that Vernie and Kelle can take lead on some songs too. Unfortunate that the album campaign ended after their first #1 single was released but upon hearing it again i'm not sure whether any of the tracks (except "How Many Tears") would have been worthy singles. Still, this was the last album to feature Kelle Bryan and 2 years later the Bennett sisters were about to release their best album yet.