The Last day in February….which has always led me to wonder, “Why does February get the extra day and not any other month…every 4 years?” #Confusing But anyway, today’s blog is based on a commercial that I saw last night. I was watching the late night wrap up show on NBA TV and all of a sudden their was an advertisement to purchase this box set of like 6 CD’s. I can’t actually place my name on the brand but it was something to the effect of “Smooth Grooves” Volumes 1-5 or “Now That’s Jammin”…you get my point. Well, while the commercial was playing they pulled out some songs that I vividly remember listening to. Some songs made me imagine were I was when I first heard them, think about some people that I probably haven’t thought about in years and even share a slight chuckle to myself when I consider how ridiculous i must have looked with a brush in my hand singing and dancing in the mirror at my parent’s house. I almost was tempted to pick up the phone and place my order, until I thought about the gas I needed to put in my car, the formula I was going to have to buy my kid, and the groceries that would be needed to re-stock my lonely fridge….but i digress.
This morning, because dreamed about buying the CD set last night, I thought I would right about some albums that I have experienced that really left some type of lasting impression in my life. I’m a huge RnB guy, so this list will not include any “old school”, “hip-hop” or any of this newer, often surface oriented, devoid of real significance techno sounding stuff. In fact I can’t even promise that this list will even begin to illicit any significance for you as you read it…but these are albums I would stamp as Solid Gold…you know….worthy of a infomercial like advertisement. Oh, and this list probably starts roughly around the 90’s to about 2005 or 2006…give or take a few years.
1. This album was and still is an absolute classic. Whether you could relate to anything in this album (because as a reserved, and admittingly sheltered child, I know I couldn’t #SelfDisclosure) you had to concede that it was jamming. In fact, the remixes to the hits on this album stand alone and are some of my favorite songs of all time.
My Signature Song: It Seems Like Your Ready; However my favorite not featured on the album is Bump and Grind Remix…#Justsayin
2. And just when you thought R had hit the mark with 12 Play, he drops TP-2 in 2000 which was fortunate for me because if it would have dropped a year later, I probably would not have heard any of it until the Spring of 2002 #MuNu4Life.
My Signature Song: TP-2 still probably one of the best intro tracks to an album I’ve ever heard.
3. I remember my 3 year old brother getting a hold of my first copy of this album and destroying it. Mind you, I played it so much that I actually believed I scratched the first copy and then used him destroying it to get another copy. #Shameless. 112 became the benchmark of what I used to compare male rnb groups (after the classic groups like Jodeci, BoyzIIMen, Toni, Tony, Tone, etc. etc.) and yes I still believe that they were better than Jagged Edge and Dru Hill…sorry.
My Signature Song: This Is Your Day
4. Anybody that had this album heard something that had never really been heard before in RnB. The Brown Sugar album will always be a classic and will be the only memory of D’Angelo’s music that I accept. I remember my playing this album for my cousin during a period of time where we were mourning the loss of her father. For a little while it took her mind of of her pain and gave us another way to connect with one another.
My Signature Song: Lady
5. Am I the only person who is still waiting on Lauryn Hill to drop a sequel to this album? Maybe I’m am #DontJudgeMe. I remember, being a freshman at Southwest Texas State heading down to Sundance in San Marcos and purchasing this album. In fact I’m not sure I knew may people who didn’t have this album, whether that be bought or if you knew somebody who had one of those expensive CD burners on their computer O_o.
My Signature Song: Nothing Even Matter
6. Am I the only person who believed that Usher should have just retired after dropping the Confessions album? I mean he had given us some flashes of brilliance on his previous albums, but this one right here…i think he still trying to re-create the magic. I missed buying the first album but I did catch it on that re-release. Best Usher Album ever.
My Signature Song: Can U Handle It?
7. This album came out at a good time because people were starting to come down from the Confessions joint, but that College Dropout was still ringing in people’s ear. Get Lifted seemed like a perfect blend of the two. I mean, anytime you put a person who can sing over a Kanye West track, you probably have something worth listening to. This CD jammed from start to finish and had a perfect blend of RnB and HipHop.
Signature Song: Number One
8. The unfortunate part about Once Again was that people slept on it. I understand completely how some fans didn’t get the 180 degree difference from Get Lifted, but truth be told, I preferred Once Again much more. Listening to this album, especially considering how much people shunned it, made me feel like a grown up. I remember being at a Black and Gold practice in the Palazzo Apartments, playing this album during a break and girls looking like “ugh what is that”….#GoFigure
My Signature Song: Where Did My Baby Go
9. Most people will highlight “What’s the 411” and even more than that, champion “My Life” as Mary J Blige’s best album. However, I appreciate the mixture of class and grace, with a little less edge that “Share My World” had to offer. I was dating a girl the summer before my senior year of high school who loved this album…………her old man kept a gun rack in her room.
My Signature Song: It’s On
10. Last but certainly not least I submit to you Alicia Key’s Sophomore Album. I remember attending the Big 12 Conference at Kansas State University where @chriscogmta and I presented the first 2 of 3 workshops that we submitted and actually were accepted. I remember getting great feedback after our first session, a ho hum type of feedback in our second, and while we were sitting in a less than stellar presentation I had an idea. Our third workshop was title “The Model Wife: Stop Looking and Be Found”. I told Chris that we should play a song at the beginning (mind you this had never before been discussed) and I suggested “You Don’t Know My Name” When we stood before the large auditorium, completely off the cuff, we played the track and just like that it was instant gold. The audience, primarily women who were waiting to tear two guys trying to tell them about being a model wife a new one, sang their hearts out…and right when they got to the break where Alicia starts talking, we broke that thing down and it completely set the tone for how our presentation would be received from then on out. We ended up doing this presentation twice and both times it was awesome. Anyway it goes without saying
My Signature Song: You Don’t Know My Name
Do you guys have albums that are near and dear to you? What are they? That’s All I Got. Hope you enjoyed! Happy February. Merry Leap Year! And get ready for the best month of the entire calender year: MARCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!