Newest Review: ... right off an interlude which really gets the atmosphere all exciting. From there, we find that they take on more productional influences t... more
Make Your Way Up
Room 112 - 112
Member Name: XICripZ
Room 112 - 112
Advantages: Great start
Disadvantages: Poor end
"Room 112" Was released in 1998 as the second album from the R&B quartet 112. The Bad Boy signees are joined by the likes of Faith Evans, Mase and Lil' Kim as their steady move towards mainstream fame continued after having an initial boost with "Only You" on their self-entitled debut two years prior.
1. "Room 112" (Intro)
2. "So Much Love" (Lude)
3. "Be With You"
As the listeners finally get up off an introduction and then a soft interlude which takes you in, we find ourselves finally in the main body of the thing. I thought that they did things in a big way, and in a manner which showed that they had improved since their very bland debut offering. This is a gentle tune with a slight danceable feel to it when it seems to be based mainly in a slow-moving style which was popular at this time.
4. "Love Me"
This cut dropped as the lead single to the thing and so perhaps is a little more well-known that others which they came with (but still isn't up there with their most popular cuts in "Only You" and "Peaches & Cream". Here they're backed up by some bassy grooves which really take the listeners away into a dark and sensual club setting that I felt you'd have trouble getting out of if you're really into the way they do it.
5. "The Only One"
As the last cut featured Mase on it, listeners would already be looking for other Bad Boy-affiliated acts to come and do more with them. Here this happens as Lil' Kim makes a little appearance and sets this one off with her aggressive flows to get things hyped before the quartet are able to come up with the two-stepping cut which they deliver here. I felt that they did a nice job with it and made it count to boost them up on the opening half of this album.
6. "Anywhere" (Lude)
This one runs right off an interlude which really gets the atmosphere all exciting. From there, we find that they take on more productional influences to show how the sounds of their hometown of Atlanta has inspired the music they come with (as it hadn't really been as prominent before). I thought that once the bouncy beats had been put into effect, they did a nice job to pulling out the perfect melodies to get you grooving away with this feel-good cut.
8. "Love You Like I Did"
This was one of the singles from the album and it finds that they switch things up a little as on it they switch up the pace and slow things right down. Here they do a very nice job at taking the listeners down with an R&B ballad (and so not the traditional sort which seemed to get more popular in this genre around about this time when the likes of Dru Hill and R. Kelly were going down that route).
9. "For A While"
Faith Evans joins them and adds the R&B talent on show for this album. I found that the direction that they took the music was nothing all that original or new, but it fitted in with the contemporary trends of the time and so really wasn't anything that you could mess with or have any problems getting down with if R&B was your thing in the late nineties. I have to admit though that I thought that it was only an average one and couldn't outdo efforts by leaders in this field at the time.
10. "Don't Go Away" (Lude)
11. "Stay With Me"
After putting their vocal range to the test on a short and emotive interlude, they perform a track which deals with the same issues as the last in trying to win back the love of a partner who has recently left them. Clearly what they do here is nothing new, but I found that they way they did things was nice and so it may not be innovative, but it's done successfully and that's all you really need.
12. "Whatcha Gonna Do"
On this one we get a surprise appearance from MJG (of 8Ball & MJG) to show support for underground Hip Hop names in the Dirty South. I can't say that I thought that his feature was really all that suitable or relevant to how they do things here, but I wasn't complaining about the music here as they come with another strong contemporary R&B tune with great vocals to show how they could carry the legacy of the acts such as Jodeci who came before them and inspired their sound.
13. "Crazy Over You"
Here they decide to go for a more traditional ballad this time around. It's structured in a manner which really takes the listeners on a musical and emotional journey, but one that I can't say I was there with them on as it seemed to be a rather generic tune of its type. This one will appeal more to their female fan base than the males, and I felt that due to this it was a bit too soppy for me.
14. "Funny Feelings"
Slim leads this one off and I felt that he did a nice job at doing it before he hands things over to Q and then the four of them come together. I thought that it was nice to see them allowing individual members to shine before having them harmonise together on such a track where they're backed minimally. Although this may be the case, I thought that this Pop direction that they took to be a little too cheesy for my tastes.
15. "Never Mind"
I thought that what was done here was really quite strange and to some degree just didn't make sense. This is primarily a slow track, but other this the producer decides to simply slap the killer sample of The Sugarhill Gang's "8th Wonder" (which itself samples 7th Wonder's "Daisy Lady") and it just confuses things as its forced upon it to make it sound like a party track when it sounds like a light two-stepper at heart.
16. "Someone To Hold"
This is a slow jam from the act and one that I can't say I really felt any way towards. This one is really quite plain from them and I thought that it showed that they were reverting to their old ways. This is quite obviously filler as it offers nothing new and sounds really disposable with the singer not really sounding that involved with the lyrics they deliver. There's much better on this album that what's found here.
17. "All My Love"
This one has quite interesting production on it and so makes it something which you may be drawn towards because it's not as straight-forward as others you may find. I thought that what's found elsewhere on it isn't all that special though as the melodies on this one sounded quite familiar and as if they had been recycled from other R&B acts as they take us into a sensual track where Slim is in control of all the verses.
18. "You Are The Only One" (Lude)
19. "Your Letter"
The album ends with a single. The track dropped as the first EP from this act in the new Millennium and one that I have to say I couldn't recall until going through the whole album. This is a rather bland piece and so not the sort of lasting impression of the album that you'd want to have as they go for a soft and slow track which has them singing to their partners, but not really managing to make much of this one.
I thought that this album was an improvement on what came with their album. Although this was the case, it was obvious that they still hadn't been able to get to where they needed to be as they still resorted to including filler in there and so taking away from the best bits that the record brings with it.
Summary: 112's second album