Tuesday, August 11, 2015

VS-All Kinds Of Trouble (2004)


Speaking of ' please don't go '..... Those three words are sung in another memorable classic from the 70's: CHICAGO's "If You Leave Me Now". And just as DJ Ross and William Naraine revived the KC & THE SUNSHINE classic on their 2009 collaboration, there was a British group who revived "If You Leave Me Now" back in 2004. This five-piece bunch that was collectively called VS (I believe that to be pronounced like the letters 'V' and 'S' separately instead of as the common abbreviation for 'versus') was a recent recommendation by yet another fellow boyband lover (I have so many in my music circles these days!). Though with VS, it's more like a boyband and a boyband—three guys and two girls. And with this VS recommendation, I'd gotten the first of my latest 'Music Surprises Of The Day' when I discovered VS was the creation of Simon Webbe, founding member of the British boyband BLUE. Those other surprises? There's the group's aforementioned hip-pop remake of CHICAGO's "If You Leave Me Now", which I thoroughly enjoyed with its fresh uptempo beat and even more refreshing rap break included, not to mention the song retaining the memorable lyrics and chords from the CHICAGO original (I'm particularly fond of that part where Peter Cetera does that marvelous 'oooooooooh' before the 'please don't go' in the main chorus, echoed quite nicely by whichever guy is doing the lead vocals amongst the three in the group). The other surprise came when I got to the midway point of my listening to this album and realized that there was actually nothing wrong with any of my audio devices; at the outset, I was literally having all kinds of trouble hearing these songs the way I wanted to. A bit of a coincidence, then, that I'd have these troubles while listening to an album called"All Kinds Of Trouble". Turns out that the title track that opened up this Pandora's box is one of the album's best jams, kicking off with some wailing police sirens before a thunderous dance-pop beat storms in. And it's here where I got a sense for the group's style—the guys and the girls taking turns singing the verses and alternating on all of the rap breaks. I especially like when the girl raps; she puts some extra sass and tantalizing spice on every word she busts out with! Something about 'taking a bite' is just one of the things my ears heard. There's all sorts of tantalizingly spicy words and rhymes sung on the follow-up, "Call U Sexy". In that same alternating style, it's fun hearing the exchange of the girls giving their reasons why they call the guys sexy, then in response, the reasons why the guys call the girls sexy: one side likes the sagging jeans, the other side likes the hips and lips. How about some sugar with the spice? That is what's served up on "Do It Up Tonight". While the girls wanna play host and make a morning toast, the guys are sweet talking with every imaginable term of endearment (I like the 'honey bun' and 'sugar cream' the most). Need something to bump to? They've got you covered with the bangin' beats of "Bump That" (I had a great time listening to the girl's rap about the whole Peter/Paul switch up and one of them messing around with the other female; sounds like all kinds of trouble alright!), "Crushed (Have You Ever?)" and "N.V.S.", which is a cool way for them to incorporate their band name into a song about people being 'envious'. I will probably get into all kinds of trouble myself—pop addiction troubles, that is—with my two favorite cuts: "All I Wanna Do" and "U & Me". Me being a sucker for these mellow types of songs, I've already saved them to my playlists, where I'll surely keep listening to them over and over and run the risk of neglecting the oodles of other favorites that are already there:

1. All Kinds Of Trouble
2. Call U Sexy
3. Don't I Treat You Good?
4. Make It Hot
5. If You Leave Me Now
6. I Wanna See U Again
7. Do It Up Tonight
8. Touch 'N' Go
9. All I Wanna Do
10. Love You Like Mad
11. U & Me
12. N.V.S.
13. Bump That
14. Crushed (Have U Ever?)

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