Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm in the mood for love ...

... simply because they're singing. So, I got the idea last week to do a Black Music Month post on R&B crooners after I thought about R. Kelly's contribution to music.
Say what you will about him being a pedophile, allegedly, but they man made some good music. I'm not going to say it had a good message, but it did sound good.
Before I get too far into this, let's examine the meaning of the term "crooner," shall we?
Wikipedia defines a crooner as: an epithet given to a male singer of a certain style of popular songs, dubbed pop standards. A crooner is a singer of popular ballads and thus a "balladeer". When you throw "R&B" in the mix, umph, umph, umph!!!
I started this thing off talking about the Pied Piper. I know everybody is tired of him these days, but you must give credit where credit is due. The same man who we are all sure that he has a thing for young girls, gave us songs some great songs that all began on his first CD, "Born Into the 90s." That's when he sounded like Aaron Hall.
On the first CD, we got songs like, "Honey Love," "Slow Dance" and my personal fave, "Dedicated".
I won't go on and on about this but I will mention his more mild songs like "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time" and his duet with Celine Dion, "I'm Your Angel" from the "R." CD. Some more of my faves include "For You" from "12 Play," "Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby" and "I Can't Sleep" from the "R. Kelly CD, "I'll Never Leave," "You Made Me Love You," and "Forever" from the "Chocolate Factory" CD. I am kind of feeling his single "Same Girl" with Ursher.
The Chattanooga-born and ATL-bred Ursher started off his career singing ballads that were produced and written by DeVante DeGrate of the great 90s group Jodeci (I got a groups post coming later). His first single was "Can You Get Wit' It" when he a chubby little kid about 14 or 15 years old singing songs about what he had no business singing songs about.
Anyway, a few years later, Ursher returned with his multi-platinum CD "My Way" that gave us songs like "You Make Me Wanna," "Nice & Slow" and my absolute FAV-O-RITE Ursher song, "Bedtime". It could be my favorite because Babyface wrote it and Shanice is singing background. But, anyway, since then, he's given us songs like "You Got It Bad" from the "8701" CD and another one of my favorites, "Burn" from "Confessions (The Bonus Tracks)."
He just released his latest CD "Here I Stand" to much critical acclaim, but personally, I doubt he'll ever top "Confessions."
Speaking of confessions, I have one to make. Thought I like a lot of their songs, they are sooooooo not my favorite crooners. They sing about sex too much. Don't get me wrong, I can listen to it, but they don't leave anything to the imagination at all.
While I do enjoy "Ignition" and "Seduction", I prefer to listen to those songs like Freddie Jackson's "Tasty Love" and Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" or his "Let's Get It On. If you just have to HAVE a song about the actual "act" go with something like that.
Now that I think about it, a lot of Gaye's songs were about sex. Another one of my faves is "I Want You" and "Distant Lover" and "After the Dance" - well, I guess it's how you interpret it.
But anyway, the difference here is you wouldn't mind hearing his smooth, satin-like voice in your ear singing something suggestive like that. I know I wouldn't. Shoot, the only way it would fly with the kid is if it's coming from a voice as sweet as his.
I really want to know whatever happened to a nice love song?
I understand that it seems like every chick I know, excluding myself, has something for the thugish dudes. If you need a thug in your life, more power to you. Just don't call me to borrow money to put on his books. But, hey, there's even a crooner for the thug in ya!
Jaheim is really doing his thing and has been since his single, "Anything". You can tell me whatever you want to but the first few lines of the verse are pure poetry.
"Now baby I don't want to be fictitious, saying I can get you anything is ridiculous,
But anything you ask that anywhere near my grasp it's yours ... "
If you like your crooner with just a 'hint' of thug, you gotta go with Baby Boy himself, Tyrese. Granted the brotha can't act worth a crap, but he can sang his face off. Who woulda thunk that Coke commercial would have lead to so much?

Not me! I remember we used to walk around literally murdering the runs of that little melody he was singing. There is nothing worse than a bunch of stank, sweaty kids walking up and down the street screaming that dang song in the middle of a summer day. :-)
Anyway, his first single, "Sweet Lady," was so sweet that I don't think it will ever die. In fact, I know it won't. Not as long as there is Urban Adult Contemporary radio stations, aka, KISS-stations, all over the country.
Now, he has songs like "Lately," "What Am I Going to Do" and "One." If he keeps putting out songs like this, he's going to be responsible for a few people's kids, too.
When you want to get to some real "love-making" you gotta go with Joe. That chocolate brotha can sang!
A lot of folks think that his career started with "All the Things Your Man Won't Do" from the "Don't Be a Menace ..." soundtrack, but it didn't. His career, as we know it, started in '93 with his single "I'm In Love."
After that, he "blow-up-chuated" with his CD, "All that I Am" and I am not afraid to share that I lost "it" to that CD. Needless to say that CD will forever be etched in to the corner of my mind - forever. I don't care what else he puts out, "No One Else Comes Close" will always and forever be thee song!!!
According to my girl Eb the Celeb, Joe's got two new projects coming. Visit her spot and check it out.
Since we're on the subject of fabulous songs, let's get into some Luther Vandross. Not lil' Luther, BIG Luther. That man could sing the phone book and have you reaching for your nearest companion for a lil' cuddling and maybe something else too.
I wonder just how many weddings and conceptions (not receptions) Luther has provided the soundtrack for. I wonder if there is a way to gauge that. Let's be honest, Luther's music has been around longer than a lot of us have and you just gotta wonder how many women fell for raps that were centered around "Love Won't Let Me Wait" and "If Only for One Night."
I'm gonna be honest, that might have worked on me. Shoot, it might work now if I'm not on top of my game. I'm a simple chick, a dude can kick one of those, "If This World Were Mine" raps and I'd be all bug-eyed and giggly like a teenager. The good thing about that song is there were no lies told. He didn't promise her ANYTHING. He said, "IF this world WERE mine ..." That's decent.
I know I left out Brian McKnight, Gerald Levert, Barry White, Johnny Gill, Teddy Pendergrass, Tank, Jeffery Osborne and Keith Sweat. I plan to do a "Gone Not Forgotten Post" and this was getting a little long and some of ya'll got ADD. :-)
Who are some of your favorite crooners and why?


Eb the Celeb said...

thx for the shout girlie... and you know i love me some R&B men... great post!

Smarty Jones said...

I'm glad you liked it!

PCD (Pretty Circle Drawer) said...

one can NEVER go wrong with marvin gaye or luther vandross. never cared for jaheem (except for the song he has with mjb) and joe is very slept on, even tho he has some vulgar lyrics. i'm not one for too overt lyrics. tyrese...hmmmmmm, tyrese. he's had some bangers but i think i loved him more singing "ohhhhhh" to coca-cola....good post!