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In 1990 Rick Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe all broke from the R&B group New Edition in pursuit of success in a different field as they chose to become a more New Jack Swing-led group, as opposed to a group who would only occasional break out into the Hip hop-styled R&B thing, and mainly do ballads and such, and so they formed Bell Biv DeVoe and dropped "Poison" (named after their first hit together).
To kick the album off, the group immediately get you into their material by providing you with a club banger, which has Dr. Freeze compose the thing. It is a hyped joint, and bound to get you moving, which you really need to make you engage with the album as they go on to do a range of tunes which take this type of thing in various directions.
O keep the very high standard of material coming through, following on from the opening recording, this one has them do a funky little joint which has Public Enemy's Bomb Squad take over with the beats, and of course they are able to give much more authentic Hip Hop flava for them as they do a song which you would expect to have been done in a much more solemn manner as it is about finding out about a girl is cheating on you, and the emotions which they get from it. Evidently, what they seemed to get out of it completely contrasts from how most would feel about such a scenario.
3. "Let Me Know Something"
The beats which they jump on in this track clearly have a basis in Funk, and it reflects the fact that the R&B of this time was attempting to get more in-tune with the general kind of sources where Hip hop would gain its influences from, and it shows that with this kind of thing, they are able to come up with killer material for the clubs.
4. "Do Me!"
This was one of the singles from the album, and I would have to say that it was a good choice for such a tune to be put out into the mainstream music listeners' attention as it has them show that are aren't obliged to drop the pace t do sensual songs,; it can all be done in the New Jack Swing style, even with a little rap (which uses then-new material from Boogie Down Productions).
5. "Word To tha Mutha!"
Showing that they haven't just gone and split from new Edition, not to return, this one has the group mention all members of the full group here as the splinter get busy in a track which seems to incorporate lots of groovy things to show that they are all for this new phase of R&B where Rap is brought in to become a key part of things for the breakdown. It is a big one, and fits right in here.
Produced by Dr. Freeze, the same man who gave Color Me Badd the smash-hit "I Wanna Sex You Up", this was their debut single, and is considered to be one of a few classic singles from the New Jack Swing fad of the late eighties and early nineties. It has them speak on two-timing girls, who they would describe to be this way due to the way they go about relationships. It is a banger of a tune and bound to get you moving.
7. "Ain't Nut'in Changed"
Whilst sampling Trouble Funk "Pump Me Up" this one has them go for more Hip Hop work as they choose to leave out the R&B, to a degree, and instead choose to bring this side of their work out by having the raps done in a kind of Pop manner to bring in the mainstream listeners.
8. "When Will I See You Smile Again"?
As we get towards the end of the release, they show that they are still able to do them old slow jams, and so here they drop the pace dramatically and do some more contemporary work as they just go for a traditional R&B ballad. Of course with the energy levels dropping so suddenly, it does mean that it is harder to get into, but it's certainly not a bad one.
9. "I Do Need You"
To end the album off, they continue the same sort of low-tempo work which was heard in the track prior to it, and I would have to say that little is done to really make it have much of an impact upon you. I have to say that having another one of these on the album means that you just get more frustrated that they aren't doing the lively jams from before.
Apart from where they choose to drop the tempo at the end of the album, this is full of big club tunes which are guaranteed to get you moving. They were second to only Guy at doing a near-full album of New Jack Swing, and so at this stage it was still fresh and exciting, and it formed so many hits.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Dope! - Bell Biv DeVoe, Dr. Freeze, Eric Sadler, Hank Shocklee, Howie Hirsch, Keith Shocklee
2 B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)? - Bell Biv DeVoe, Hank Shocklee, Eric Sadler, Keith Shocklee
3 Let Me Know Something?! - Bell Biv DeVoe, Dan Wood, Eric Sadler, Hank Shocklee, Jamie Staub, Keith Shocklee, Kirk Yano, Nick Sansano, Rod Hui
4 Do Me! - Bell Biv DeVoe, Carl Etienne Bourelly
5 Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, MIke, Ralph And Johnny (Word To The Mutha)! - Bell Biv DeVoe, Bert Mauzer, Peace Production, Ricky Bell, Ronnie Devoe, Stephen P. Blazina
6 Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe, Dr. Freeze, Howie Hirsch, Jay Henry
7 Ain't Nut'in' Changed! - Bell Biv DeVoe, Dan Wood, Eric Sadler, Hank Shocklee, Jamie Staub, Keith Shocklee, Kirk Yano, Nick Sansano, Rod Hui
8 When Will I See You Smile Again? - Bell Biv DeVoe, Timothy Gatling, Alton "Wokie" Stewart
9 I Do Need You - Alton "Wokie" Stewart, Bell Biv DeVoe, Timothy Gatling
10 Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe, Elliott Straite, D'Lavance, Louil Silas Jr., Peter Arata, Ken Felton