“ Genre: R&B & Soul - Soul / Artist: Ruff Endz / Audio CD released 2000-08-21 at Sony Budget „
The duo of Chi and Davinch dropped "Love Crimes" in 2000 as Ruff Endz. The pair sing R&B, and were brought to attention of many with the breakthrough single, "No More", but little was hear of them following this short-lived success.
1. "No More"
You just can't get any better than this one, it is a throwback jam which you are likely to recognize if you were connected to this scene around the turn of the millennium, and it deserved the attention which it received as you find them powering through on a Hip Hop-influenced jam which has them bring it all out to show exactly what they are about. If you don't wish to try the whole thing, at least check this one.
2. "Where Does Love Go From Here"
Following directly from the lead single, you have them change the way they go about their music as they go more something a little more contemporary and, less experimental as they get into some traditional R&B as they speak on the discovery of finding out that their girlfriend was truly someone who had seen the other man first (and are continuing to do so). They bring in some originality with their unique song writing.
3. "Phone Sex"
This is an absolute killer track on the album, and a track which fans of the music from the likes of Dru Hill, Jodeci and BLACKstreet from the nineties wil really enjoy. I would have to liken the production in this to that on Ginuwine's "Pony", and it creates the perfect atmosphere for this song.
4. "Please Don't Forget About Me"
You find them trialling the same sort of funky percussion-rich production which was highly popular around that sort of time as many of the key RB acts would have used it at the end of the nineties and early 00s. With this you find them able to bring in additional influences whilst staying fairy within the usual boundaries, ad not going too far into other places to complicate things.
5. "Shout Out"
This one is very powerful, and although it seems to be a very traditional R&B song with the pair performing a song which focuses upon them showing love to their girl, you find them in a gentle and light club setting to do this in order to make it come across as a lot more developed than this basic structure with the, and free obligation to do dance tracks for this type of tune.
6. "Are U F**in' Around"
Although this had been explored earlier on in the album, this one appears to take things a level further as this one is made to sound as if it is fit fr a single, and this increased quality can only do it justice as it shows that they are able to construct some strong tunes which are able to see mainstream appeal (as their top five single did). They rip it on this one as they bring in some harder beats, and it fits their voices well.
7. "I'm Not Just Sayin' That, I'm Feeling That"
At first this one sounds as if it is going to be a soppy love song, but they quickly save it by dropping some beats which remind me f the Golden Age of R&B with the music of R. Kelly, H-Town and the Whitehead Brothers, who all had success with seductive R&B songs in the mid nineties. For this reason it gives a significant twist to it all, and makes you think a lot more of it.
8. "I Apologize"
On this one you see the first little hints of them changing their way of constructing their songs as you have traces of a ballad being put into it as they perform it, but I felt as though they kept it well within the limits of what many fans of their single will accept. I thought that it was certain one of the better ones on the album, but it takes a while to fully-appreciate.
9. "Love Crimes"
The eponymous track to this collection has them do a tune which really stands out as it is built on them using things such as the piano to drive it, and I felt as though this was significant for it as it allows them to do a tune which has them sing some very original and well-written lyrics which speak on even if loving was a criminal act, they would be unable to resist it.
10. "Saying I Love You"
On this one you have them really alter the way they go about the composition as you have them seeming progressively working towards the end of the album which sounds so disconnected from where it started, but here I thought they still kept things decent, but not really distinctive as they do one with such a simplistic structure and lyrical content.
11. Missing You"
The funky beats which initiated the release seem to return on this recording, and I felt as though it was perfect timing to do so as I really wasn't expecting it to be used with a tune which has them speak about missing their partner, but they manage to create the perfect atmosphere through a low tempo and the more lively melody running through it.
12. "The World To Me"
This one has them slow things down as they opt for a ballad. The way that the production is striped down into a very traditional form means that it takes the focus away from it and onto the talent of the vocalists, and I felt as though they did quite well, but I can't say that it was really as rewarding as t could have been for them as they do a fairly average one.
13. "If I Was The One"
To end the album off, you find them performing another soft little ballad, but I have to say that in this case they just took it a step too far away from the 'urban' tracks which they started the record off with, and it just wasn't something which I would typically listen to, not that I didn't appreciate how strong their vocals are.
Although this is clearly an inconsistent album from them, it is an R&B album I would recommend as it seems to do a lot which other don't in the current times as it seems to take on a lot more tracks which revolve around the ability to construct ballad-esque tunes and such, as well as the more upbeat, Hip Hop-influenced stuff which is currently prominent.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 No more
2 Where does love go from here
3 Phone sex
4 Please don't forget about me
5 Shout out
6 Are you messing around
7 I'm not saying that I'm feeling that way
8 I Apologize
9 Love crimes
10 Saying I love you
11 Missing you
12 World To Me
13 If I Was The One
14 Cuban Linx 2000 - Ruff Endz & Ghostface Killah/Raekwon