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This is a very good album packed with 16 very good top of the class songs .The good thing being that those 16 songs from this album were sang by 4 very talented singers that have got very good voices and they put so much emotion into all their songs.The song that i like the most is end of the road this song is very good it brings back memories of the past and it touches my heart in every possible way ,they did a very good job on that song keep it up boys .To all those who have never had of boys to men this album is a good way to start , it is packed with very good songs that will blow you out and to all boys to men fans who do not have this album ,this is a must have album with songs that have been sang with so much emotion.
After reviewing all of Boyz II Men's other studio albums I have decided to review the album that starting things off, It is of course their debut album Cooleyhighharmony. The album became one of the most important debut albums of the 90's and possibly of all time as the group changed the face of music and hundreds of young male vocal harmony groups came out on the back of the success of this album. So without futher ado here is my take on Boyz II Men's debut album Cooleyhighharmony.
1.) End of The Road
Starting off here we have one of the biggest selling singles of all time, It is of course End Of The Road. The single was released in 1992 and featured in the hit Eddie Murphy comedy "Boomerang" this led to a staggering 13 weeks at number one in the Billboard chart in the US. This song is about a relationship ending when you have tried everything to try and keep it going. An awesome song and one of the best tracks they have ever done.
2.) Please Don't Go
This track is a little different to the opening End of the Road but is still a ballad, Although it is a very strong track it does sound a little dated when you compare it to the majority of the album. This track has the same subject as End of The Road. About a relationship ending when you have tried to keep it going. This may be a little dated but it's still a very fine track.
3.) Lonely Heart
Written by Nathan Morris, this track features a spoken opening from Michael McCary and Nichole Williams. This track looks back on a lost relationship which you wanted to stay in. The vocals blend together well but they have improved so much since then and that is a credit considering how good their vocals were on this album back in 1992.
4.) This is my heart
This Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman written track is another dated track but if you look through that fact it is still a very decent track that blends the new jack swing melody with the smooth vocals very well. Probably the weakest track on the album but it still has big appeal.
5.) Uhh, Ahh (sequel version)
This track was written by Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Michael Bivins and brings the album back to a smoother feel with this fine Ballad, This is a very sexy track about getting it on, Wanya Morris provides some fantastic tender vocals on this track and establishes himself as the best of a great bunch.
6.) It's So Hard to say Goodbye
This is a cover of the G.C. Cameron track from the 1975 film Cooley High, I feel that this track is one of the best on the album and a perfect showcase of the talent that Boyz II Men are all about. I have seen Boyz II Men three times and this track has been a crowd favourite all three times, I wonder if it will be when I see them on 12th June @ Indig02.
7.) In the still of the nite
This is another cover, the original was recorded by Five Satins and was written by the groups own Fred Parris. I am not really aware too much of the original but this is a very fine version in it's own right. A great example of the way the guys vocals blend together to create a fantastic harmony.
This track features Michael Bivins from Bel Biv DeVoe and New Edition fame. Written by Dallas Austin, Michael Bivins, Nathan Morris and Shawn Stockman This track introduces you to the members and how they were discovered by Michael Bivins when they sang New Edition's "Can you stand the rain" backstage at a concert. They later recorded their version on Evolution. Motownphilly is a great bouncy track which has a great melody.
9.) Under Pressure
Written by Dallas Austin and Nathan Morris, This track opens with a soulful acapella and then develops with the change to a thumping beat and some great hooks. This brings us back to New Jack Swing and a very flowing track that is amongst the catchiest tracks of Boyz II Men's career. This is a fan favourite.
10.) Sympin (Remix)
This is another uptempo new jack swing track, This was written by Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Dallas Austin and is another indication of the wide ranging ability of the group which shows they can do more than just the amazing ballads.
11.) Little Things
This is an interesting mix of New Jack Swing and a mid tempo Ballad style. It has a catchy feel and is one of the better uptempo tracks on Cooleyhighharmony. The chorus is the best bit of the track where the vocals blend together well.
12.) Your Love
This opens with a very heavy unusual piano piece which leads into the beat and this soon becomes an interesting mid tempo ballad. This is written by Troy Taylor who also played Drums, Percussion, Bass, Acoustic Piano and arranged the vocals. It's certain that Boyz II Men surround themselves with talented musicians.
13.) Motownphilly (Original)
This is the original version of the well known track, Even though I'm not a fan of Michael Bivins I do actually prefer the remix version as this version is not quite as dynamic as the remix version. Still a decent uptempo track with some great hooks.
This is the original version and is the better of the two versions on the album, It opens with a Bond intro and then the funky beats and hooks come in, This showcases the vocal harmonies between the members and is a very impressive uptempo track.
15.) Uhh Ahh
This is the original and is more focused on the vocals than the "sequel version". I am not sure which version I prefer and usually listen to them both when I listen to this album. Both versions have their merits.
16.) It's So Hard to say Goodbye
This is the radio edit version of the classic track, It features Piano in the background but is basically still an acapella track. It's a worthy addition to the album as it's different enough from the other version to be included.
Boyz II Men's Cooleyhighharmony has got to be one of the biggest debut albums of all time in terms of getting the artist from nowhere to being huge world stars as they were with the success of End Of The Road. Although this is a fine album I feel that there is a but. The But is that Michael Bivins is not anywhere near as talented as Boyz II Men and I feel that the album could have been at a more consistent standard had he not been involved. Cooleyhighharmony is Not Boyz II Men's greatest but it's a damn good record all the same.
"Cooleyhighharmony" came out in 1991 as the debut album from the Motown R&B/New Jack Swing quartet, Boyz II Men. The group, consisting of members Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Michael MCCarey, the crew were disctinctively different to what Motown was knonw for. However they still held the same sort of characteristics which hare generally associated with this as they have amazing harmonies, and while they did use it for slow tunes, you also had them following the soudn of the streets, and doing a little New Jack Swing under the influence of Michael Bivins (of Bell Biv DeVoe). This is in fact the 1993 re-issue of it, and has remixes included, and the all-time best song, "End Of the Road".
1. "Please Don't Go"
To start off the album, we have a track which has them showing exactly why they are so highly rated in the game. You have them doing a breakup song, which could have been an early developmental stage of creating "End Of The Road" which was recorded the following year. It is well-done and starts the thing off well and showing what this record is going to include within it.
2. "Lonely Heart"
I wasn't as fond of this one as I was with the starter, however the standards aren't really dropped too much, and you are sure to still see potential in their work with this one, as we work up to much more extravagant tracks from them where they bring out every last thing they can to show what they are capable of as vocalists. They harmonize well together, but this one just wasn't as good as others on the album.
3. "This Is My Heart"
The slow jam format of this one comes through in this one, and it really has them coming out with something special in order to improve the standard of things, and bring it back to what it was as we began the album. I would have to say that this one is representative of the way the whole album goes, and with themes of love, and amazing voices used to their full potential means that you have to be impressed by it all.
4. "Uhh Ahh" (Remix)
This remixed version has them lighten the sounds of everything to have it being a little more commercial than the original one which was done. This is a low-tempoed recording from them which has them really attempting to make the most out of what they are working get all the sensuality out of their music.
5. "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday"
G.C. Cameron, a Motown artist from the seventies has his work covered on this one, and you get them taking things to the next level with one which has them using minimalistic production, and just coming up with the best harmonies in order to capitalise on the strengths of all the artists, and the variety within the four of them. They all take lead, and so you have them all showing what they have.
6. "In The Still of The Night"
Fred Parris' tune gets covered by the group, and make it sound so much better than it ever was before as you hear them as they sing it in a cappela, and choose to do things in the Doo Wop format, in a sort of barbershop quartet arrangement. You cannot go wrong with this kind of thing from them, as it is what they were made to be.
7. "Motownphilly" (Remix)
In comparison to the original, I thought that this one was pretty weak as the frst one was a big New Jack Swing cut, but this one sounds like some waste House work, and I can't imagine that they were that impressed by the results of it with lots terrible. Many will have been excited to read that there is a new version to "Motownphilly", but this is failed twist to it.
8. "Under Pressure"
They kick this one off with a short thing to show their skills in Doo Wopping, but then decide to kick a New Jack Swing track. With beats from one of the best in this genre, you can't go wrong, and they certainly work it to its limits, and get all they possibly can with it. They funky grooves in this keep you engaged and they use their voices to do the rest of the work, and make sure you are completely satisfied by it.
9. "Sympin'" (Remix)
Although the original structure is still apparent within it, this is a completely re-vamped version of what was a big tune off the original recoridn of the album. With all the lyrics remaining the same, and having a similar type of synth being added, this one gets them working with a differing set of samples to bring out even more from what is a killer cut from the quartet.
10. "Little Things"
I liked the fact that this one had them doing a tune which seemed to merge the general R&B characteristics with those of a mre exciting club sound with weak Swing beats used. It comes out with it being a bit tune as they don't fully commit to either thing, and find themselves taking the middle ground to the maximum that it will allow for.
11. "Your Love"
This emotive one from them has them getting into something which really reminds me of what the time was like, and the type of music which was prevalent aroudn this period. Some of the melodies appear to have been borrowed elsewhere, and in knowledge of this, it makes it sound much more impressive in how they influenced many overs following it.
Personally, I see this as one of the best New Jack Swing tracks ever, along with other top cuts from Guy, Jodeci and Bobby Brown, and the group really show what they mean when they claim to be "Hip Hop Doo Wop" as they come with a tune which gets them on lively beats and tkaing their top-class vocals to street lyrics, and it completely kills it.
This original version of things is just as lively as the remix, and I could even say that it is a little better as you hear extensive use of samples with a little of the James Bond theme being taken on, amongst other things, and the speedy pace to things keeps the energy high as they get you swinging yet again with some energetic work.
14. "Uhh Ahh"
This is a deep cut from the group, and in comparison to the remix of it, is is much more raw and beliveable as they get into a sensual one; one of a couple album, and it seems that they make the most out of this opportunity to take it to its limits with the bassy drops and vocals to suit this kind of stuff too.
15. "End Of The Road"
This is, by far, the best track that the group ever recorded. You simply cannot find a flaw in the thing as they absoutely blasst through what is an amazingly well-written break-up song, which has them desperate to make things work, and mend after having it fall apart in the past. It tops off the album, and ends it in just the way you want as they finalise on some top material from them.
There is a lot to like about this big breakthrough from Boyz II Men as they come out ith so many big tunes. You have them doing all they can to take on the traditional Motown sound and make it into something which can truely be felt by the street crowd, and the New Jack Swing aspect of it is where they made it work for them.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 End Of The Road - Antonio "L.A." Reid, Boyz II Men, Babyface, Daryl Simmons
2 Please Don't Go - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin, Biv, Vida Sparks
3 Lonely Heart - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin
4 This Is My Heart - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin
5 Uhh Ahh - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin
6 It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin, Dallas Austin, Rick Sheppard
7 In The Still Of The Nite (I'll Remember) - Boyz II Men, Steve McKeever, Suzanne De Passe
8 Motownphilly - Biv, Boyz II Men, Camelle Glenn Hinds, Dallas L. Austin, Michael Bivins, Paul Jervier, Steve Jervier
9 Under Pressure - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin
10 Sympin - Biv, Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin, Rico Anderson
11 Little Things - Boyz II Men, Charles R. Farrar, The Characters: Troy Taylor & Charles Farrar, Troy C. Taylor
12 Your Love - Boyz II Men, Charles R. Farrar, The Characters: Troy Taylor & Charles Farrar, Troy C. Taylor
13 Motownphilly - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin, Michael Bivins, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, Rick Sheppard
14 Sympin' - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin
15 Uhh Ahh - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin, Nathan Morris, Wayna Morris, Rick Sheppard
16 It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - Boyz II Men, Dallas L. Austin, Rex Salas