Friday, May 26, 2017

SWV-It's About Time (1992)


Yeah, it is about time! I knew that eventually, my musical joyride back into my middle school years of the early 90's would lead me to dredge up some old memorable favorites. But besides that, a nice long listen to the all-female r&b troupe that stylistically called itself 'Sisters With Voices' was long overdue for me anyways. Once again, I proved to myself why it's always a good idea to dig up these throwback goodies every so often—if not to relive the feel-good magic of hearing those familiar hits again, then to get into a song or two that was maybe missed the first time you heard it. Both were the case as I went into taking in the opening track, "Anything"—a delightful jazzed-up slow groove that serves primarily as an introductory piece to show that these lovely ladies really do have some great voices! Then right after that, it was time for me to get locked in to the jam that, today, remains as my #1 SWV favorite of all time: "I'm So Into You". Talk about being taken back to yesterday! I will always remember this one well, particularly the swing beat and the unforgettable chorus ( ' I'm so into you, I don't know what I'm gonna do ' plays over and over in my head), plus the parts where they sing ' you're not mine '. I'll also forever remember the classic slow jam that continually gets high praises and ample replay on the quiet storm r&b radio channels: "Weak". It's a great song with a marvelous flow to it ('I get so weak in the knees...' ), even though it had taken a while before it grew on me; now it seems that an SWV joyride can't be complete without it. Then there's "Downtown", which is one I never recall until I hear the chorus and how they sing sing 'you gotta go down downtown' and 'take you round and round' with that sultry, spicy purr being put on every word. There's some mighty soaring vocals by the lead girl on this one; that, plus the crisp, bounce to the beat and the overall ride-around-town-under-the-city-lights vibe make this one a definite keeper! The rest of this album, in contrast, was like completely new to me, although I feel like "Right Here" (another terrific upbeat jam!) is one that I should've remembered well, considering that the 'Human Nature Remix' samples the familiar chords to the timeless Michael Jackson hit by the same title. In fact, it felt like all of the upbeat jams had at least a smidgen of familiarity to it; regardless, I acquired new-found favorites in "Give It To Me" (an instant catch that definitely has the new jack swing groove going on, plus more of the dazzling vocals highlighted by the lead girl's fluttery cheer of 'give it to me') and "Think You'e Gonna Like It" (I just love how they sing the title lyrics, especially the lusciously harmonious 'boy' at the end of every other line). Besides "Anything" and "Weak", there's a trio of other fine slowed-down moments that make for delicious ear candy: "You're Always On My Mind" (such sweet, luscious collective voices when they deliver the title lyrics in intro movement; the whole song flows like a heavenly dream), "That's What I Need" ('someone who treats me right and makes sweet love all through the night'—we all need that special someone in our life) and the title track itself. It wouldn't be old-school r&b without at least a couple of funky hip-hop cuts. There's "Blak Pudd'n" (I like the intentional stylized misspelling of 'black' and fits the funky/hip-hop theme of the music and the song), which makes intelligent use of things like a Slinky, a cream-filled Twinkie and the great Bill Cosby (these kinds of old hip-hop jams with the colorful flow of the lyrics are always fun), then the trio's in-your-face anthem, "SWV (In The House)", where they boldly and proudly proclaim that they got a record deal (back then in 1992) and are coming on strong.....and still are, as time has shown:

1. Anything
2. I'm So Into You
3. Right Here
4. Weak
5. You're Always On My Mind
6. Downtown
7. Coming Home
8. Give It To Me
9. Blak Pudd'n
10. It's About Time
11. Think You're Gonna Like It
12. That's What I Need
13. SWV (In The House)
14. Weak (A Cappella)
15. Right Here (Human Nature Remix)

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