Tuesday, March 8, 2016

KRU-The Way We Jam (1998)


And THIS is the way that I like to jam! I've breached brand new cultural horizons once again as I cruise into the night with another fabulous boyband crew! The Malaysian trio pictured above that stylistically spells their name 'KRU' becomes the very first artist from that Southeast Asian country whose voice I've had the pleasure of tuning in to into. It was just less than a year ago during one of my usual boyband binges where I set my eyes upon them, knowing instantly that they needed to become a new addition to my boyband collection. I soon became aware that they've been around the music block for quite a long time, recording songs in both English and their native Malay tongue. So it only seemed natural that I would opt for the trio's only full-length English album to officially introduce me to their sound first. 'Looks like I'm gonna have some great times hangin' out with this KRU!', I had already mentally determined in so many words just seconds into taking in the opening title track. Felt like I'd gone right back in time to the original 'boyband heyday era' of the 90's with this jam's amazing groove and delicious urban dance-pop flavor. Loved every single moment of the urban bounce, the beats and their smooth vocals to "Every Single Minute", the follow-up that's every much the appealing jam as the opener, particularly with the rap break that flows with the rest of the lyrics that speak about the guys fantasizing and going crazy from the girl they want to spend every minute of their life with. Here's some other big-time jams on this joyride that'll make you slam those earphones down on your ears: "Leave That Girl Aloe" (I'm particularly attracted to the music on this one because of the fluttery flute playing alongside the groove); "Why Must I Feel Like That?" (a totally AWESOME jam with some very cool electronic voice effects and a hip swag about it, especially when they bust out with the bow bow bow, gonna hunt you down' and 'nothing but the dog in me' in the main hook); "Do My Thang (Upside Down)" (this one's totally got that heavy new jack swing vibe going on, the 'we wanna freak you up, we wanna shake you down we wanna make you hot, we wanna hump around' being the sexiest lyrics on this album!); "Tribe" (a brilliant dancey groove with a feel-good nightlife-on-the-town vibe; digging that bouncy reggae shift midway through!); "The D" (the 'D' being 'disease', which is the fatal kiss and the tease of the girl that they sing about); and "Wanita Jelita" (quite a lovely tribute to this lady with a very pretty and unique name; I wonder if it's a real name or if it has some sort of special significance?). The upbeat jams are definitely a thrill, but this Malaysian KRU likes to slow jam it, too, beginning with the warming tune of eternal promise to love on "More Than Forever", then the mellow piece simply titled "For You" (ooohh—how I love that sublme harmony when they break out with the main chorus, especially on that 'baby, baby, baby, baby, baby' before the final movements), "Won't Look Back" (some fine urban r&b and cool syncopation going on in the music here, particularly in the rapper's delivery of the verses), "Never Ask Too Much (Of Love)" (their collective harmonic voices are even better here than on "More Than Forever"; I would place this one on the soft rock radio airwaves because it's got that perfect soft rock radio love song glow that fills me up, blossoming into a power ballad by the song's end) and the concluding song of reflection entitled "Sweet November", which is by far the most sweetest romantic offering served up by this Malaysian KRU! I adore the smooth groove and their even smoother harmony, causing me to want to cruise along to their earnest words of 'do you remember?, I know you remember' forever and ever:

1. The Way We Jam
2. Every Single Minute
3. More Than Forever
4. Leave That Girl Alone
5. For You
6. Why Must I Feel Like That?
7. Never Ask Too Much (Of Love)
8. Do My Thang (Upside Down)
9. Tribe
10. Won't Look back
11. The D
12. Out Of My Mind
13. Wanita Jelita
14. Sweet November

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