FLASHBACK: Forgotten R&B Jams from the 1990s.

Currently I’m going through one of the serious New Jack Swing/early-mid 90s nostalgia fests to which I’m prone. Just for the heck of it I thought I’d re-acquaint (or even educate) some of the Soulculture faithful with a few lost gems that might occasionally be overlooked. Who knows? It might even be a regular feature of mine; no threats/promises at this stage.

First of all, with the news of Groove Theory‘s reunion I thought it might be cool to re-visit one of Amel Larrieux‘ post GT projects- the delightfully soulful ‘You Will Rise’ which she did with the fellows from Sade aka Sweetback. Amel’s lovely vocals, uplifting message and a delicious mellow groove, nuff said. Unable to embed actual video due to restrictions but Click here to watch.

Next is ‘Get Up on It’ by Keith Sweat protegées Kut Klose featuring Mr Atonal himself. I have listened to this almost non-stop for the past few days. It is something of a guilty pleasure. Firstly because of the risqué lyrics. At the tender age of 13/14, when this song came out, I had no business telling anyone to get up on anything. Secondly, Keith Sweat can’t sing for toffee. Respect to his production skills but I think there have been very few R&B singers as flat and nasal as this man. Moving swiftly on…Kut Klose are one of the most underrated 90s girl bands. Lead singer Athena Cage had a very similar vocal tone to Coko Gamble but without the annoying nasality, leaving just the pleasantness. KK had some good tunes and their harmonies were absolutely gorgeous; always put me in mind of windchimes for some reason. You can hear for yourself on the bridge for ‘Get Up on It’ which has possibly one of the best chord progressions for a middle-eight that I’ve ever heard. The song as a whole is a great example of how other producers built on Teddy Riley’s NJS ballad style. Lyrics aside ‘Get up..’ has a fantastic melody and arrangement. I think it’s this level of intention and craftmanship missing from what passes for R&B these days. Once again I’m prevented from embedding the actual video but you can follow the link or just enjoy the audio below…

Lastly it’s one-hit wonder Eric Gable‘s ‘Process of Elimination’. Cheesy, archetypically sexist, very 90s video (what was with all the soft focus Sepia-tint in those days?) but wow, what a tune back then. I used to go bananas over this one.

A penny for your thoughts, people. With all the Swingbeat revival in the air I might do some more 90s ‘Flashbacks’.

Shalom x

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