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Boyz II Men came with their second album, "II", in 1994. A record which dropped soon after they re-released their 1991 debut, it sees that they make quite significant changes from the past in seemingly a short space of time (when you consider that the New Jack Swing "Cooleyhighharmony" was recorded in 1991 and was released then, but saw more success in 1993) as here the R&B quartet calm things down in order to make room for softer, melodic work.
1. "Thank You"
They set things off with a tune produced by Dallas Austin. We see that on it, we have them showing how their style of R&B (largely Doo-Wop-inspired) is still able to carry Hip Hop just as well as the more contemporary styles and it makes for a straight killer tune here that I really can't have replaced with anything else to make for any better results. The Philly act go hard and show that here they've got a lot to prove.
2. "All Around The World"
They move things on here to come up with another tune that seems to fit right into the times and what was popular for the period as we find that they are desperate to show that the re-release of their first isn't really a representation of them in 1993, and that the year after they have caught up with a tune that takes on the sort of production heard in the West Coast's G-Funk sounds and they come up with a soft song to accompany it.
3. "U Know"
Here the heavy Hip Hop beats persist and act as a nice backdrop to the smooth vocals that the singers offer here as they come to harmonise together and show just how well their voices work together to come up with the goods. This is a big one from them and sees that they really make the most out of it as they set strong foundations and pull in the contemporary crowd before they switch things up.
This is a fresh swinger of a tune and one that has a heavy, laid-back feel that was really prominent through the mid-nineties in both R&B and Hip Hop and it shows that they are able to compete with all of the best in this field in order to get their music out there and appeal to as broad an audience as possible (as they match it with a song that could be done in any style and come out just as well).
5. "I Sit Away"
The Funk really flows in the bass guitar groove behind this one and so it sets things off nicely (along with the beats which are thrown down there too to back them up). From there, we see that they choose to come out with something where they try to ease their way back towards much more traditional work (which you get from the style of the song they put out there) and it seems that the juxtaposition of the styles was pulled-off effectively this time around to really do the job as it should be done.
The song on this one is preceded by a fairly lengthy interlude to set the scene and we find that as they get off it they are able to push themselves right into the mix of things to pull out a very classy R&B piece. I thought that this was a great example of them merging a range of style effectively to the point that its able to somehow appeal to the mainstream market (even though it doesn't take on many Pop characteristics).
7. "Khalil" (Lude)
8. "Trying Times"
This one has them pulling things right over towards the Quiet Storm side of things (and so going against the more trendy stuff for a while and to perhaps get much more out of their vocals as a result). I felt that it was nice that they did it after building it all up with a range of tunes that were directed towards those who were into the swinging, mainstream R&B of the time and so it makes you try out something different, and here they perform well to make it come together well.
9. "I'll Make Love To You"
Behind "End of the Road", this is probably their most well-known tune and one that deserves the attention it has received over the years as one of their best. We find that here they decide to stick with where they were on the softer end of the music (as with the last track) in order to pull out a ballad. The song that they come out with is a straight-up classic Babyface-written tune that all should know.
10. "On Bended Knee"
They move from one big single to another as we see that here they take us right into another tune that seemed to do quite a lot around the time when it dropped. I thought that it would have been nice to see it gain a little more attention than it did, as we see that here they come up with a powerful and emotive tune where they attempt to amend the problems in their current relationship.
11. "50 Candles"
They keep going at things down the Quiet Storm route and I felt that after the last couple, they seemed to have squeezed out all that they could possibly get out of that end of things and so as we see them continue at it, I thought that it just wasn't able to carry the same sort of impact as it seemed to in the early stages and so it just made for pretty average results which weren't all that special.
12. "Water Runs Dry"
Here they get into another tune that had Babyface taking on all the roles other than one actually recording the thing, and it seems to make for another significant cut off the album. This was a nice single from the thing and although I have to say that I didn't feel this one for some time, it was one that gradually got to me and one that I eventually had to see as a big one worth a lot on the thing.
The album comes to a close with a nice little a cappella version of a classic Beatles cut. I thought that this was a nice way to end things as they return right back to the sort of thing that gave them their initial boost towards getting signed as they show just how well their voices work together without any sort of assistance from anything additional instruments to top the record off on a high point.
This is a strong album from Boyz II Men and one that seems to carry things on nicely from their last one as they show what else they've got to offer and how they're able to balance all the things that inspired them in order to come up with the desired results this time around. It deserved its Grammy win and its role in boosting their status in the R&B world.
I love boys to man with all my heart and i am a very big fan.This album i must say is one of there best so far that i have heard .It is avery good collection of fouteen songs and everyone of there song was sang with such emotion and passion that is just hard to believe.They all have different gorgeous voices that i admire with all my heart .I could sit for hours listening to this album because i like it so much .My favourate songs on this album are i'll make love to you ,on bended knees and water runs dry ,i love these songs they were sang with so much passion that touches my heart and i must admit they also make me cry but this time for joy that the songs bring.THIS IS A MUST HAVE ALBUM FOR ALL THOSE THAT LOVE BOYS TO MEN BUT DO NOT HAVE THIS ALBUM.
As a massive fan of Boyz II Men I decided to review all of their albums, II is their 1994 release which features some of their most memorable ballads and is one of my favourite albums I have in my vast cd collection. This album is produced with the help of legendary producers Babyface and the duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. This is my review of the second album from Boyz II Men.
1. Thank You
This is a great uptempo track to open the album, This really shows off the vocal ability of the group. This is one of their most flowing uptempo tracks with a very catchy beat. A great start to the album.
2. All around the world
This uptempo track is about the various places they have visited around the world and the various lovely ladies they have met all around the world. The track opens with a French Woman talking about Nathan, Michael, Shawn and Wanya. This is a great track to dance to due to it's great beat and catchy backing.
3. U Know
This has a very catchy feel to it, the track opens with an interesting guitar and keyboard hook then the drum beat kicks in. Michael "BASS" McCary gets a rare lead vocal on this song and then he is joined by his bandmates smooth backing vocals.
This is a lovely sounding midtempo ballad which features Shawn Stockman singing lead vocals. As the beat swings around you start to tap your feet to the catchy beat. A well worked midtempo track that has a great relaxed feel.
5. I Sit Away
This is a gorgeous ballad which was written by Tony Rich before he had a solo career with his "Tony Rich Project". Some of the lyrics here are very emotive, the best example is this part "Who says the sea can't move in winter Or clouds stand still in a storm
Who says a man can't cry And be lonely, Who says a man can't tend to be bored, And if you could see inside my heart
You would see loneliness And if I could show you my mind
You would be depressed"
This Is a very funky song about meeting a woman who you are attracted to who doesnt live up to your expectations and is a bit of a jezzebel. A well worked track which is a great one to dance to due to it's catchy vibe and kicking beat.
7. Khalil (Interlude)
This Interlude is a touching tribute to former manager Khalil Roundtree who was murdered during their previous tour as support for MC Hammer (Everbody has to start somewhere).
8. Trying Times
This is where the album changes as all the remaining tracks are ballads. This opens with a spoken part by Michael and then Shawn's voice comes in with a little ad lib and then Nathan opens up the lead vocals.
9. I'll Make love to you
Here we are, one of the greatest love ballads of all time, I have seen this song advertised on so many tv only deals from the likes of TimeLife. This is without doubt one of the greatest ballads for getting in the romantic mood. This is so so so good and everyone of you must have heard this song before.
10. On Bended Knee
The best two tracks on the album are one after the other. This is another incredible ballad. This song is about saying sorry to your partner for the way you acted and wanting forgiveness and showing them how much you really love them. Many tears have been cried around the world to this song. The best bit of this song is when Wanya errupts and sings
"Gonna swallow my pride
Say I'm sorry
Stop pointing fingers the blame is on me
I want a new life
And I want it with you
If you feel the same
Don't ever let it go
You gotta believe in the spirt of love
It can heal all things
We won't hurt anymore
No I don't believe our love's terminal
I'm down on my knees begging you please
11. 50 Candles
Another romantic song in the "I'll Make Love to You" mould. This is not as well known though but is still an amazing track and is guaranteed to keep you in the mood. This is a really great ballad which should be more well known.
12. Water Runs Dry
This is an amazing song about not taking things for granted. the subject of this song can be summed up by these lyrics. "Let's don't wait till the water runs dry
We might watch our whole lives pass us by
Let's don't wait till the water runs dry
We'll make the biggest mistake of our lives
Don't do it baby"
This is one of their greatest most emotive songs.
Although I respect John Lennon and Paul McCartney as songwriters I certainly don't think they can sing at all. This is a cover of The Beatles well known Yesterday and this is an amazing acapella version. They should have written songs for other people who could sing. Just look at when The Beatles covered black artists of the time.
This is another great track and ends the album well, It doesnt quite touch the greatness of I'll Make love to you and my personal favourite on the album On Bended Knee but it does have a great laidback vibe to it.
This is a great second album from Boyz II Men and it is amazing to think this was released 14 years ago. Now going as a threesome as Michael McCary had to pull out of the band due to scoliosis Boyz II Men are set to be around for sometime yet. With a new album coming out in early 2009 I can't wait.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Thank You
2 All Around The World
3 U Know
5 I Sit Away
7 Khalil (Interlude)
8 Trying Times
9 I'll Make Love To You
10 On Bended Knee
11 50 Candles
12 Water Runs Dry