Sunday, October 5, 2014

MWC-Men With Charm (1992)


Flowers, chocolate candy and a bottle of wine—sounds like just about everything a guy needs to charm that special lady. Oh, and having some romantic words to say helps a lot, too. The latter would be the primary tactic by the short-lived r&b trio MWC on their 1992 self-titled debut. And me tuning into this rare find sees me swinging it back to the 90's new jack swing least for a spell or two. Though I was surprised right away when the music kicked off with something that is totally uncharacteristic of the new jack swing era: a deep house groove reminiscent of the music from the world of Eurodance. Me being the dance music lover that I am, though, I was quick to embrace "The Game (I've Been Watching You)". It's not just the rhythm and the beat, but it's the fun lyrics, too, especially when one of the guy's busts out with the rap (my favorite line is when he says 'like Whitney said, I'm all the man you need' which, of course, is in reference to the late Whitney Houston and her hit "All The Man That I Need"). Ah, but then the new jack swing beats slide in after that with "Never Forget", "Brighter Day (You'll Always Be My Girl)", "Girlfriend", "Leave It"..... It's simple, easy-to-get-into jams like these that always bring back warming memories of those growing-up years and sometimes makes me wish that music was still created in this fashion. It's on "Girlfriend" where I first took note of the guy with the high voice in the group; he's great leading the way here, and great again later on one of my favorite of the upbeat cuts, "Babyface". No, this song doesn't have anything to do with the famed r&b producer/singer/songwriter, but the lyrics do have to deal with a girl who thinks one of the guys in the group has a baby face. And that part where they break it down and sing the line 'she's the kinda girl all the fellas wish they had' together in harmonic unison? A shining moment on this album for sure! Your next 'Slow Jam Of The Night' if you like the slow r&b grooves or your next 'Breakup Song Of The Night' if you're in a heartbroken mood—that's what Track #7's "This, The End Of A Beautiful Love Affair" will be for you. Knew this would be another shining moment the very second I took in the melody. The lyrics may be sad, but I was more than happy with the vocal performance all throughout. Don't these slow jams always have a way to bring out the best in these singers? And if the MWC guys hadn't already been charming enough, they put together a real gem for the old-school lovers—in more ways than one—on the concluding cut, "Love Is Just Around The Corner". Mixing some 80's style synthpop production with the sampling of familiar lyrics from popular 60's soul classics by THE TEMPTATIONS—"My Girl", "(I Can't Help Myself) Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch" and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg"—is the formula here that'll win many listeners over:

1. The Game (I've Been Watching You)
2. Never Forget
3. Shari
4. Brighter Day (You'll Always Be My Girl)
5. Girlfriend
6. I Want You
7. This, The End Of A Beautiful Love Affair
8. Leave It
9. Babyface
10. Love Is Just Around The Corner

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