Thursday, July 6, 2017

ETERNAL-Always And Forever (1993)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: July 6, 2017

Yes indeed—I will always and forever love this lovely British r&b girl group for all eternity! In the past few days, I've gotten all nostalgic about a lot of my favorite songs from the late 80's and early 90's, with one of those favorites being right here on ETERNAL's debut album. Call it an excuse for me to bust out their CD, but the truth is, I'd really been missing the collective voices of Kellé Bryan, Louise Nurding and the two Bennett sisters—when the four of them were together and not split up and going their separate ways. So as a treat to myself—and those of you who follow this blog—I've reunited the ETERNAL girls once more, if only to indulge in some of their old tunes for a few minutes. That favorite from this album I alluded to a moment ago? "This Love Is For Real", which, in fact, continues to stand as my #1 ETERNAL favorite overall (with the very close runner-up being "Power Of A Woman" from their second album by the same name). I've always noted how "This Love Is For Real" shares a similar song structure to Jeremy Jordan's "The Right Kind Of Love" (the hit featured on the first of the two "Beverly Hills 90210" soundtracks), which even contains the exact words 'this love is for real' on his own chorus. So the question remains: who sampled who here? While I keep trying to figure that out, it was just a joy to hear this awesome, upbeat jam playing in my ears again for like the thousandth time! ' It's all right, hold tight, tonight, you're gonna love how you feel '—such a wonderful chorus! Besides that, there's a few other hits I often forget about, even if I've played this CD a gazillion times. "Let's Stay Together" is the girls' funky r&b remake of the Al Green classic; sounds so good with their collective sweet voices performing it. "Crazy" is definitely one I need to remember to add to my playlist of pop favorites; the lyrics of them being just a little crazy when it comes to the man are simple enough, but the song's excellent sound and harmony are what drive me crazy! "Sweet Funky Thing": Ahhh, I remembered how this one sampled the chords and arrangement to "Juicy Fruit", the throwback r&b classic by the group called MTUME. And yes, it still sounds sweet to me! "Save Our Love": I remembered this one well, it's bright, feelgood air about it and the whole theme of a woman looking forward to better and happier days when she's back together with her man again. "Never Gonna Give You Up" is a fun track; I always like how the backup girls chime in with the pointed 'no!' in the chorus to stand firm on what they're determined not to do through the whole song. "So Good" is another upbeat feelgooder that I remember well.....and yes, it too is still a goodie. The ETERNAL girls crafted some good slow jams, too, as "Oh Baby I" clearly shows. And that sweet, marvelous harmony that they like to show off? It's shown off with flying colors on the concluding acappella piece, one of the many gospel-themed tracks where they would give stop to give praises to the Lord above throughout their career:

1. Stay
2. Crazy
3. Save Our Love (West End Mix)
4. Oh Baby I
5. I'll Be There
6. Sweet Funky Thing
7. Never Gonna Give You Up
8. Just A Step From Heaven
9. Let's Stay Together
10. This Love's For Real
11. So Good
12. If You Need Me Tonight
13. Don't Say Goodbye
14. Amazing Grace

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