Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ralph Tresvant-It's Goin Down (1993)


Ready for yet another throwback from the past? After getting straight down to business with READY FOR THE WORLD, there was even more business to get down to when I reconnected with Ralph Tresvant, one of the original founding members and leading voices of the sensational Maurice Starr-produced boy group, NEW EDITION. And in this particular 1993 edition, we find Ralph having released his second solo album following the group's initial breakup—a fine specimen of the memorable r&b/new jack swing sound of that early-90's era. I now invite you to turn back the pages and read along with me as I deliver my in-depth story of why the 60+ minutes that I spent revisiting these old-school jams was time very well spent indeed. It had been&mash;you guessed it—ages (that's a word I've been using a lot with these old gems I've been digging up from my collection lately) since I last heard Mr. Tresvant's familiar voice—whether fronting with the rest of the NEW EDITION crew or solo—but I was quickly reminded just how terrific that more matured, twenty-year-old-something voice was the moment I played the opening cut, "Graveyard". A rather dark way to open up the album, I must say, as it's full of edginess and suspense and disturbingly haunting lyrics (the rap break where he talks about the bodies in the alley struck something within me), but the music was so, so sublime to my ears that I practically got caught up in all of the production without getting too caught up in the dark thoughts of his mind. And that is what I sorely miss about the new jack swing era: those wonderful urban-style street beats, which come into play on subsequent highly-polished jams such as the follow-up, "Shaky Ground", plus "Who's The Mack" (yeah, you know it's still the early 90's when you have a guy using the word 'mack' to describe himself to the ladies!), "You'll Remember Me" (an excellent listen!) and the title track itself, whose extended play coupled with Mr. Tresvant brilliant rap display, particularly when he does the call outs to his crew towards the end, make for a thrilling 5+ minutes of music. That sexual business that the READY FOR THE WORLD gentlemen discussed on yesterday's album post? Well it sure looks like our honorary NEW EDITION guest singer I invitewas discussing the same business upon delivering this edition's sixth track, "My Aphrodisiac", on down to the final words of this 60+ minute featured story. It was so nice hearing him on "When I Need Somebody", which instantly allures with its fluid groove and mellow tonality, then again on the trio of beautiful slow jams: "Love At First Sight" (you can just feel the sexiness oozing from every seductive word, and the sexy dialogue between him and the lady throughout only adds to the erotic steaminess), "Your Touch" (a premiere favorite of mine and my suggestion for your next 'Slow Jam Of The Night', the silky smooth voice and the dreamy melody creating that blanket of tender, romantic sincerity) and the concluding piece, "Sex-O", where his sensual, hushed vocals are barely above a whisper against the exotic ambiance f the background music. Though in stark contrast to that tender side of him, he shows off more of that 'sex maniac' side of him previously revealed on both "Who's The Mack" and this edition's eighth track on "Sex Appeal" ('open wide and let me deep inside', '99 positions'—there's no question what's goin' down here!), "The Booty Affair" and "G-Spot"—all three cuts bringin' back those signature bangin' new jack swing beats. So now that I've given you the lowdown on "It's Goin' Down", I invite you to subscribe to this earlier edition of Ralph Tresvant and get the whole scoop for yourself:

1. Graveyard
2. Shaky Ground
3. Who's The Mack
4. It's Goin' Down
5. You'll Remember Me
6. My Aphrodisiac
7. When I Need Somebody
8. Sex Maniac
9. The Booty Affair
10. Love At First Sight
11. Your Touch
12. G-Spot
13. Sex-O

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