“ Genre: R&B & Soul - Soul / Artist: Blackstreet / Audio CD released 2001-03-19 at Interscope „
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After a gap of three years, the R&B group BLACKstreet were seen to return in 1999 with "Finally" after dropping their classic "Another level" release in 1996. It them, then taking on a line-up with Terry Philips, Mark Middleton, Chauncey Hannibal and Teddy Riley coming with more of their Hip Hop-influenced R&B tunes as they had to keep u with the massive shift in the way R&B had developed since their last release as they tried to catch up.
1. "Can You Feel Me" (Intro)
Here you see that they kick right into what was a top single from the album and something which showed that they knew how to adapt to the changes of R&B in the late nineties with the freaky kind of production used by them a they perform in what could be considered to be a rather desperate effort with Janet Jackson, Eve and Ja Rule all joining them on this joint.
3. "Yo Love"
Here you see that it is even more evidence trying to bring out all they can in order to bring about success, as they try out something which gets into a style you would tend to associate with a Pop act such as The Backstreet Boys (who were in fact influenced by their work) and so ironically the lack of creativity you get from Teddy and the crew turns on them here.
4. "I Got What You On"
Showing that they can keep the quality through something, you see tat Teddy chooses to bring back the Voice box, and using this technique (taken from Roger Troutman) you find that you get a bit of a West Coast swing from it to get them to recover from the one prior to it and remind you of their classic years with a fly, exciting joint.
In this lengthy one, you see that they try out something which clearly takes from the time in which they had the most success in as they lay down a tune which has them returning towards the seductive mid-nineties when R. Kelly, Keith Sweat and Jodeci did their thing, and so here they try to get back to this kind of thing here, but it just doesn't do what it should and it sits as an average song here.
6. "I'm Sorry"
Here you have them appearing to continue through with the emotive R&B work as they try out something which takes on a ballad form in order to apparently squeeze all they can out of "Don't Leave" and in this case I felt that they did things in a manner which you simply couldn't resist getting down to with their amazing vocals meaning that you can't just dismiss it.
7. "Think About You"
Here they are seen to pull things back towards the kind of general style which you would here from affiliates of Timbaland and Dark Child and Kandi with some freaky and erratic percussion taken form the 2-Step Garage world in order to pull back the much more energetic material which appealed to all at the time.
8. "Black & White"
Although this one seems to get off to a fairly strong start, it soon becomes apparent that it isn't really as strong as what you expect to get form the as they get done to one where they bring back the bedroom material, but do it in a rather predictable way as they incorporate some of the typical techniques and elements, which ultimately make for a reasonably plain one.
9. "In A Rush"
With the piano welcoming you on this one, you find that here you are going to get them trying out a much more traditional bald as form here you find that the minimal production extended only to light beats and strings to guide them through as they do something to take their growth and maturity on this one and I felt that they did well with it to impress (and somehow make sure that it sounded like them).
10. "Hustler's Prayer"
With this one you get a kind of Southern bluesy Gospel vibes going on and it shows more of the progression in the artists (although it had been hinted on in their last, "Another Level", album) and through it you see that they go all-out with the risk and make sure that it doesn't sound half-developed, but I still wouldn't say that it actually made for that strong a tune, although it was reasonably successful.
In the titular track on the album, you see that here you get them doing one which you would expect to get as a single (in terms of who it is composed). However it doesn't really have any sort of mainstream appeal as you see that they continue with the Gospel stuff even further to the point where they make it the main focus of it, but I felt that this was something which put me off it (although the vocals here are amongst the best on the whole thing).
12. "Take Me There" (Remix)
This is a fly tune which really takes you back to the days when Teddy Riley innovated the New Jack Swing sound in the late eighties as here you see that you get something which sounds to have come right out of 1993 with a Hip Hop version of The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" to pull back the high standard material.
13. "Don't Stop"
They end the album with another tune which sounds to fit right in with the kind of things which was reigning supreme in the Hip Hop world of the day with the exciting material coming back through with the production. However I felt that it wasn't really enough to pull it back and it sat as another average one.
I would have to call this one a disappointing album from the band as it was one which came off a classic, and had them taking too much time to follow it up, subsequently losing their flow and not being able to deal with anything which acted as a transition between the sounds of their last, and what you got here. Although I wouldn't say it is them on their best form, it isn't all bad and does have them working very well ain some parts.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Blackstreet Intro/Can You Feel Me
3 Yo Love
4 I Got What You On
5 Drama/Misery Interlude
6 I'm Sorry
7 Think About You
8 Black And White
9 In A Rush
10 Hustler's Prayer
12 Take Me There
13 Don't Stop