Thursday, May 25, 2017

AFTERSHOCK-Aftershock (1990)


Not so shocking that I have another throwback goodie from the 90's to share! I can't recall when I first became aware of this r&b/hip-hop troupe that called itself AFTERSHOCK, but it sure felt nice to get reacquainted with them and their music when I took their self-titled debut out for an evening joyride, considering the nostalgic mood that I've been in lately for all things old-school. The jazzed-up opening cut—also called "Aftershock", which serves as an anthem of sorts to their name, I'd say—formally introduces you to their light, easy-going pop-rap style, the gritty, dynamite voice of the lead man and their knack for the killer new jack swing beats, which are heard on just about every one of the jams thereafter. "Cindy, Cindy", a song about a lady whom the songwriter can't seem to get over, is one I really like. It had grown on me during my first time listening to it, particularly when they keep repeating the catchy 'Cindy, Cindy' throughout and the backing orchestral accompaniment slides into the music in later movements. But it's this one I like even more: "The Ballad Of Hotel Jerome". Ironically, this one is not a ballad; instead, it's a breezy, upbeat groove with an alluring suspenseful rhythm and a chilled ambiance, with the story about somebody always playing and living at this 'Hotel Jerome' coming off as being rather haunting. Sometimes it's just fun to sit back and hear these jams that keep it simple while entertaining you with the various musical textures. On "Always Thinking", it's that jazzy saxophone that keeps me tuned in while "Because", "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not", "Sincerely Yours" (beautifully performed as a duet with a guest female vocalist) and "Don't Stop" (I dig the way the backup vocals slide and glide with the 'ooh-ahhh-ooooo' all throughout) are all about the beat! There was the 80's comedy movie (and the song on its accompanying soundtrack by the same name) called "Moving Violations", and then there's this AFTERSHOCK-penned jam that went by the same name as well. The theme on this one—wondering why the lady is in such a rush and making every night of love-making a one-night stand—is totally like the bubblegum pop that I sorely miss about my favorite decade; extra points for the lively instrumental funky party at the end. Of course, I have to give mention to every song I come across that has the important message for all of humanity to embrace; this time, it's "Plastic Finger" that I point to, which talks about people who need to care more instead of doing things that are destructive. My favorite lyrics on this album are right here on this song: 'wish I had a life like "The Cosby Show" '. Two marvelous slow jams round out this AFTERSHOCK joyride: "Going Through The Motions" (this one had grown on me, too; the earnest plea to the lady to do more than just try to show love had lasting impressions) and "Give Her My Love", which blossoms into a moving, epic adventure, thanks to the thunderous production and the voices of everyone that shine all around. You may want to exercise some caution before you decide to tune in yourself because, as they explicitly say on the opening cut, you'll be feeling the aftershock pretty soon:

1. Aftershock
2. Cindy, Cindy
3. Always Thinking
4. Going Through The Motions
5. The Ballad Of Hotel Jerome
6. Plastic Finger
7. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
8. Because
9. Sincerely Yours
10. Don't Stop
11. Moving Violations
12. Give Her My Love
13. Aftershock (Reprise)

No comments: