Boyz II Men: Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Michael McCary, Shawn Stockman (vocals). Additional personnel: Keith Crouch (various instruments); Babyface (guitar, sitar, keyboards, bass, programming); Michael Thompson, Reggie Griffin, John "Jubu" … see full wiki
Pros: The Boyz, harmony, harmony, and more harmony, excelent song writing
I love to sing, and those who have heard me sing tell me that I am not that bad. And I agree, and half joke that I have missed my calling. Sometimes, I like to sit in room all by myself with my favorite artists and sing my heart out; you know from the heart soul-searching, tear inducing singing we all aspire to. It is at these times when certain artists are taken out and dusted off to accompany me. Earth, Wind & Fire, The Commodores (remember them), The Isley brothers, Luther Vandross, Babyface, Jeffery Osborn, Frankie Beverly & Maze, and Boyz II Men, all find their way into my CD player, when my emotional state dictates that I release through song.
Evolution is the 1997 Motown release from the masters of harmony and heralded the groups final leap from boys to mature, thoughtful, intelligent men. Why we have not heard anything from them since is a mystery, but one I will endeavor to solve.
The CD is a departure from their earlier releases, Cooleyhighharmony and Boyz II Men II, in that the first 6 tracks are all slow ballads sung by the Boyz with the touching realism only Boyz II Men with their unique four-part harmony seem to bring to a ballad. This is one album you can spend the whole evening listening to with your baby and never tire of. Whether you are slow dancing on the living room floor, or between silken sheet, this CD will not disappoint.
Doin Just Fine the first cut on the CD showcases the song writing talent of Boyz member Shawn Stockman. And its hard to believe after listening to the lyrics of this powerful song that it was written without the benefit of personal experience, and pain. Believe it or not ladies we are capable of being hurt by members of the fairer sex. Some of us have hearts capable of the type of feelings that run deep and are sincere. And this song was written to portray a man view of a broken heart. Read the first verse:
There was a time when I thought life was over and out. When you went a way from me. My dying heart made it hard to breathe. Would sit in my room. Because I didnt want to, Have to go out. And see you walking by. One look and I break right down and cry.
The CD continues with Never a ballad written by the whole group, and then the second release from the CD 4 Seasons of Loneliness. The song starts off easily enough; just voice and piano, with each of the Boyz except the bass, Michael McCary, taking a turn at lead. Its during the chorus that the Boyz launch into the four-part harmony that has made them masters of the ballad.
The next track Girl in The Life Magazine written by Babyface, is a whimsical tale of love at first sight, sort of! I cant explain why, maybe it is the rhythm guitar strumming lightly in the background, or the reference to Life Magazine, but this song invokes visions of Paris for me. Its picturesque side streets and Old World architecture that seem to touch the heart in a way no other city can. I can easily see falling in love there with a woman you pass on the street, becoming lost and infatuated with her simple beauty and mystery, as the city floats around you
Most will recognize the next track A song for Mama also written by Babyface, as the theme song for the movie Soulfood. Did anyone see them perform this gem live on Oprah in 1997? Just piano and voice; pure artistry!
The rest of the CD is a great mix of fast and slow tracks, a total of 13 in all, culminating in a tribute to God called Dear God,written by many a hand and mind. A beautiful and soulful acknowledgment of all he does for us; it is fitting that I leave the opinion with first verse and chorus from the song:
Dear God Its me again I am so far from where I could have been. Dear God, I would be incomplete, But you came and touched my life in time of need. So Im thanking you for all youve done. And for sacrificing your one and only son.
Chorus: Thats why Im writing you this letter. To let you know I love you. Thank you for all that I am and for being a friend. Lord, my love for you youll never end.