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1. Beautifully Human: Words &
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2. Dangerously in Love
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3. Everybody Got Their Something
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4. Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds,
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5. Baduizm
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6. Ultimate Toni Braxton
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7. Happy People / U Saved Me
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8. Heart Break
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9. Waiting To Exhale: Original Soundtrack
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10. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite
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11. Forever My Lady
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12. Don't Be Cruel
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13. Poison
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14. Boyz II Men - Legacy: Greatest
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15. Chocolate Factory
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16. Concrete Rose
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17. My Life
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18. What's the 411?
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19. Babyface - A Collection of His
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20. Mama's Gun

1. Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds 2
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0002S94RK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 289
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Amazon.com

While most neo-soulsters crank out albums like their hip-hop counterparts, Jill Scott takes a more traditional approach to her craft. Four years after the release of her debut, Who Is Jill Scott, Words & Sounds Vol. 1, Scott returns with the masterful Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds Vol. 2. The album features a collection of lush and hypnotic songs that will make you want to fall in love, live life, and be a better person all at the same time. Lead single "Golden" is a prime example of this. Set to a midtempo groove made for the dance floor, "Golden" is a shiny, beautifully-written narrative about living life to its fullest. The old-school R&B ballad vibe of "Petition" is reminiscent of Minnie Ripperton or early Chaka Khan. However, "Bedda at Home" is anything but laid back. Combining elements of jazz, soul, and old-school hip-hop breakbeats, Scott extols the greatness of her man with a swagger that can only be described as cool. Other highlights include "Family Reunion" and the socially conscious "Rasool."

The album's only flaw may be that it ends too soon, but then again it's always better to leave a listener wanting more. For Scott, being "Beautifully Human" means just that--finding the allure in all that life has to offer and that's well worth the wait. --Rashaun Hall ... Read more


2. Dangerously in Love
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Asin: B000099T2L
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 445
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The perfect timing of Beyonce Knowles’ career moves continues with the release of her debut solo album. Dangerously in Love’s best music is wildly up-to-date, craftily designed for both maximum street acceptance and positioning as some of the most cutting-edge stuff on current radio. The brash first single, "Crazy in Love," melds Jay-Z with an unstoppable Chi-Lites horn sample, shape-shifting into something brand new. Collaborations with Outkast’s Big Boi and Sean Paul also prick up the ears, while changes of pace like "Be with You" and "Speechless" achieve their aim with credibility. The disc becomes far too ballad heavy in its second half, but the key stuff is the noise she brings.--Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (704)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Force of Nature...
The only mistake Beyonce made with her debut solo album is that trying to pass the first five tracks is a difficult task. Because the dance numbers are lumped at the beginning of the album, and the ballads overtaking the rest of the project, it feels too tiring trying to get through this good but uneven debut. Of course my review comes a little late, seeing as how nobody gives a damn what order the songs appeared in on the album, Beyonce is a bona-fide diva. Having headlined a tour alongside Miss Keys and Missy, it was truly Beyonce's year. For anyone expecting this album NOT to be highly stylized and well made for mainstream listeners, you need look elsewhere, because as much as I love Miss Knowles, she is as mainstream as they come. That's not to say the woman isn't talented. She was at the producers helm, crafting her album and making it her own.

Beyonce knew what sounds were the hottest, as evident on the wildly successful and funky tune 'Crazy in Love.' The classic horns sample, along with Jay-Z's chilled flow skills makes it a great song. Dancehall music was of course the genre of 2003 and continues to dominate 2004 along with crunk. What would a dancehall track be without Sean Paul? 'Babyboy' actually took awhile to appeal to me. Because dancehall riddims were everywhere and anywhere during the single's release, it became quite redundant, but nonetheless it is a great dance tune.

'Hip-Hop Star' and 'Naughty Girl' wear out their welcome quite quick. On 'Naughty Girl', Beyonce tries to hard to be...well... naughty, and while her homage to Donna Summer is appreciated, it doesn't mean the track holds through for a long amount of time.

What would an r&b divas album be without ballads. Most original is Beyonce's female empowering 'Me, Myself, & I', it is a great track with its vintage soul sound and Beyonce's soaring vocals. On the sensual "Gift From Virgo", Beyonce's lush voice fuses with Missy Elliots always innovative melodies. It is another standout track. 'Be With You' is also well done, with it's groovy, vintage beat and Miss Knowles slinky vocals.

All in all, Beyonce is your run of the mill diva. As much as I love her sound and watching her perform live, she is in every way a mainstream songbird. If you like slickly produced, and at times souless r&b, Beyonce fits the bill almost too perfectly. She certainly struck while the iron was hot, and she owned the year. Dangerously in Love is a good CD, but if many music buyers are still wary of its quality, I say buy the singles at your local Media Play, Sam Goody or whatever... because they are the strongest and best cuts from the album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyonce Left Me "Speechless"
Beyonce Knowles, 1/3rd of Destinys Child, out did herself on her first solo debut album, entitled Dangerously In Love. This a a wonderful CD, that will be a classic, such as Aaliyah's, Aaliyah. The craftsmanship that she put into the album is evident with the first track, Crazy In Love. Beyonce is a true entertainer, and will be written down in history. Many people say that they dislike her, but I dont believe they really do, its just that she is a beautiful, talented, young woman, who is doin her thing, at such a young age. She has the mind, and vocals of a more mature woman. Her writing skills have improved tremendously, and vocal range has broadened. Every track on DIL, is a track to listen to more than once. My favorite tracks are Gift From A Virgo, Me, Myself, and I, Yes, Speechless, Naughty Girl, Daddy (beautiful ode to her father). Daddy is a change of pace for tributes to parents who have helped artists get where they are. A lot of artists have songs for their mothers, but no fathers. So this is wonderful. Beyonce really outdid herself, on this album, and I enjoy every track on. It was worth the pushbacks, and the money. Go get another copy. And just leave it in the packaging. Cause it will be worth something in the mere future.

5-0 out of 5 stars THIS CD WAS GREAT
EVERY SONG WAS GOOD!THE BEST SONG WAS SPEECHLESS. I GUESS YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE IN LOVE TO UNDERSTAND.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice effort
The album was ok, I thought it was gonna be better. I like a few of the songs and thought they were well written but I expected something huge. She's a great artist,performer,singer,and person. She deserves all the grammys and success that God can bless her with but this album was a little disappointing to me.

2-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Artist and Person - Horrific Album
Depending on why you were a destiny's child fan to begin with, you will either love this album or hate it.

I became a fan when DC did the survivor album because they had a diverse amount of the background sounds/instruments and lyrical topics (like they really do love each other like family, people need to get their act together, you need to find god, true love is the best, and last but not least you need to party too). DC was also really good at being totally serious on a song and then being really cheesy (but have it still be fun to listen to) on another song.

Before this album came out I was really hyped up for it because Beyonce did a big chunk of producing and writing for the survivor album.

Since the survivor album was the first time she did most of the behind the scenes work I assumed this album would be similar in terms of what kind of vibe you got from it.

Man was I wrong, on most of the singles she is in Foxy Cleopatra mode (what she did in Austin Powers). It was cool to see that routine in the movie (because that was a comedy), but not on here (this wasn't supposed to be a comedy). Another major problem is most of the songs that were not ever on the radio are really bland ballads that are totally forgetable.

The sad thing is whenever you see Beyonce in interviews she is one of the few celebrities that really does come off as smart, kind, sexy, and mature. But if all you knew about her was from this album you wouldn't think this because way too many of the songs don't project that kind of feeling at all. Because of this the songs things sound contrived or really cheesy (in a bad way) most of the time (Naughty Girl is the worst offender, I laugh uncontrolably every time I hear that song).

So here is the final verdict, if all you are looking for is some songs to play at a party or you follow only top 40 stuff then get this or some compilation CD that has her singles (seriously, you will probably love it). If you are looking for a great album that you will continue to play years from now then avoid this and buy DC's Survivor album if you don't already have it. ... Read more


3. Everybody Got Their Something
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00005B0S6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7461
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Nikka Costa's fiercely bootylicious first single, "Like aFeather"--that song with the thick, clapped 16th notes--has alreadygarnered the 28-year-old singer one hell of a buzz, and for the mostpart, she's got the goods to back it up. Already a platinum-sellingartist in Europe and South America, the Tokyo-born, L.A.-bred singer'sstateside debut bulges with ambition. It's a mixed bag of musicaltricks that's equal parts '70s-style funk, hazy LedZeppelin-inspired psychedelia, and angst-ridden alternachick yowling, withhealthy dollops of soul, hip-hop, and thrash thrown in for goodmeasure. Produced by Costa, Australian rocker Justin Stanley (who'salso the singer's husband), and high-profile New York City DJ MarkRonson, the album works best when it piles on the noise--like on thestandout "Tug of War," which features the unmistakable rim-shot work ofRoots drummer?uestlove. On that track, a flurry of scratched samples, layers ofsoundboard-smeared noise, and a few luscious string sweeps break intogospel-choir harmonies that swirl gorgeously beneath Costa's reedymezzo-soprano wails. It's a shame that she can't match this intensityon sparser down-tempo ballads like "Nothing" and "Just Because," whereshe sounds like Fiona Apple'sslightly less annoying older sis. As the album's title says, everybodygot their something, and Costa sounds best when she sticks to hers.--Sylvia W. Chan ... Read more

Reviews (123)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nikka What? Nikka Who? Nikka Where? Nikka got that Something
I absolutely love this album. It's got funky dance beats and is just as good as Macy Gray's albums. All 12 tracks are excellent in their own way.

One <10/10> Like a Feather- This is that groovin song that they play on the radio and on that Levi's 501 jeans commercial. Get down with Nikka's sultry Janis Joplin-like vocals.

Two <8/10> So I Have For You- A soft rock jammer and a damn good one too.

Three <8/10> Tug Of War- A slower beat song but will make you get down anyway.

Four <10/10> Everybody Got Their Something- My personal fave. A simple beat but funky and groovin nevertheless.

Five <7/10> Nothing- A slow ballad that you'll sing in the shower over and over.

Six <9/10> Nikka What?- Just a cheesy little 25-second interlude with a good beat. Kind of a prelude to track seven.

Seven <10/10> Hope it Felt Good- Probably Nikka's most edgy track on the album. Adds a rock n roll flavor to it as she bad-mouths a cheating lover.

Eight <10/10> Some Kind of Beautiful- Second single. Very funky disco like.

Nine <8/10> Nikka Who?- Another interlude, this time 43-seconds. A young but still strong vocalized Nikka belting out a heart-felt song.

Ten <8/10> Just Because- Another soft rock song to be compared with track two.

Eleven <9/10> Push & Pull- A great easy listening track that you can still dance to.

Twelve <10/10> Corners of My Mind- A slow song that makes you think.

All & All, this record is awesome...

Peace.

4-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and Funky
Nikka Costa has blown onto the music scene with her single (and cool-looking video) "Like a Feather". Her debut album is of the same high quality. "Like a Feather" is the opening track and in case you haven't heard the song, imagine a funkier sounding Janis Joplin style.

Other stand-out tracks include the heavy "Tug of War", the happy, clap-along title track "Everybody Got Their Something" (in which co-producer (and significant other) Justin Stanley is a veritable one-man band, playing all instruments), the slow and sad "Nothing" (detailing how there once was love, and now nothing) and the album closer "Corners of My Mind" (note: after this last track, there is about a 5 min gap of silence before the album closes with about 20 seconds worth of audience applause from what sounds like a jazz club).

All in all, a very convincing album. It is hard to believe that this is Nikka Costa's debut album. The confidence she displays in her songs would one expect this to be a middle-of-career album. Come find the familiar "Like a Feather" and stay around for the remainder of the album!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nikka's Something
Upon receipt of this musical endeavor, I found myself moved by this amazing and surprisingly unknown (or underground trying to surface) vocalist. Everybody's Got Their Something is a wonderful masterpiece. It allows the listener to inhale it, let it marinate and not want to ever exhale. The first song on the album, Like A Feather, (and first single) creeps in like a Prince inspired surprise. If you thought that was what you would be hearing throughout the album... you were wrong. Nikka takes the listener on a journey of proclaiming and owning self-confidence and pride, all the way to your not-so-cozy love song (or lack there of). Some of the tracks on the album I absolutely adore are:

TUG OF WAR: Brilliant song about how our soul and body can't quit get it right all of the time. This song features an awesome change in momentum when you're really not expecting it.

SO HAVE I FOR YOU: Everyone has felt the need to stray away from what they have been raised to know and are "suppose" to live out. This song screams out "I'm going to do what I want to do because I have the drive and the motivation and the confidence and no one is going to stop me". The lyrics, "Mama you can choose the rain/ but I choose the sun" strongly display that message.

Some other songs I love are Push and Pull and Corners of My Mind.

This album is a must have for those of you who seek great artist that create awesome music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Flushes you out, that's for sure!
My bowels emptied when I heard this cd for the first time. Talk about a mess, but that's another story for another time. Point is, I danced my (large) rear end right off because it is freaky, funky, and will make you want to grab the nearest person of either gender and do the w*ld th*ng! I'm a female, as readers of my reviews will note, and God has blessed me with more than a husky figure. Anyone near me when I start shaking my dumper will end up squashed (and smelling quite foul to boot). That is what the music does to me, I cannot help it. Bodily functions just seem to go by the wayside, for better or worse.

5-0 out of 5 stars If the Sun were a woman, her name would be Nikka.....
Don't you dare call yourself a music lover and NOT have this woman's CD in your collection.

Nikka is fire and energy; funk, rock and soul. She's a hard rockin' soul-sista with a funky banshee wail on the side.

Oh yeah, folks. This is one woman who is truly a force of nature not to be denied. ("Mama, you can choose the rain, but I choose the sun")-"So Have I For You"

Go on; buy the CD. You can thank me later. ... Read more


4. Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B00004UARR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2469
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2000

Jill Scott's debut, Who Is Jill Scott?, is a luscious portrait of the artistas a grown woman. In R&B, black femininity has often been reduced to two dimensions:sex and materialism. But Scott lives in 3-D, and it shows in her voluptuous songwriting.She combines a beautiful voice with an extreme generosity of spirit, making her music adreamy, soulful delight. Lizz Mendez Berry ... Read more

Reviews (486)

5-0 out of 5 stars JILL...AHHH THE THICKNESSSSSSS....
Erykah, you betta get back on it! Jill is comin' full throttle and she looks like she ain't tryin' to stop! Hopefully.

She melts poetry and voice like no one before her. Powerful. Insightful. Sexy.

DO YOU REMEMBER gets me all "good-feely" all inside. I like that vibe. And when I first heard GETTIN IN THE WAY I though Badu had dropped her 2nd album. A LONG WALK is nice sweet ditty that makes you wanna do exactly that with a good close friend. HE LOVES ME (LYZEL IN E FLAT) makes me mad. Why? Cuz it shoulda been me she was talkin' too/about! LOL! THE WAY is smooth and sexy and makes you wanna sing it to ya girl when she comes through the door. LOVE RAIN and ONE IS THE MAGIC # round out the CD very nicely.

James Poyser and Jazzy Jeff (Yes, the same cat from the duo Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince) really know how to put out a sound. I also like the way Jill looks in her all her songs...she is one of the very few artists that has a smile on her face everytime she sings. Amel Larrieux and Janet are the only 2 other singers I see do that. She makes you feel good that she's feelin' good. Feel me? (wink!)

5-0 out of 5 stars C.D IN CONCERT-I KNOW WHO MISS JILL IS
On March 23, 2001 at the Tower Theatre in Philly Pa I had the devine pleasure of seeing Miss Jilly Jill. It was the most pleasurable audio and visual experience I've had since Miss Badu. Besides the various colorful stars as a backdrop, Miss Scott's vocals were "divamatic" to say the least. If vocal capacity described "Divas" then she is a diva in the making. Miss Scott "brung it". As compared to her cd some of the musical arrangements were different in concert than on the c.d, however they change was refreshing. Some songs had a touch of Jazz, or a Reggae feel. There were a few songs that when you heard the intro you wondered, now what is this, then your brain and hears connected and said, AAh yea that's my sh?t. The band Fatback Taffy and backup singers were grand. The acoustics were crystal clear and the band did not drown out the artist (take note Musiq Soulchild). Yes, Miss Jill was not playing. Then just when you thought it was over, she strikes back with a poem, The Thickness. The poem was about a young sister whose body matured faster then her mind. It was on time. Jill broke it down and dropped some knowledge during and between several songs. I could tell by the look on some folks faces that they felt as if it was neither the place nor the time. But I say get it while you can. Then she sang my song, HE LOVES ME,LYZEL IN "E" FLAT. It was like an operatic experience. Miss Jill belted out that song, then with an operatic stance, hands clasped, she and her girls chorused, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Next time Miss Jill, Sting will be opening for you. Big ups to Kendrid, Jill's opening act. So if you didn't see the concert get the C.D. Peeeece

5-0 out of 5 stars ...
...There is no word that can express this album without insulting it. That is all I have to say.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jill, We Know Who You Are Now
Jill Scott is the embodiment of strength, irrevocable talent and artistry. She is a self-described poet, and this is what makes her music so consummate and authentic. I did not buy the album until I saw her in concert, and that alone should speak for itself. If it doesn't, let me explain. Jill Scott is one of the most powerful voices I've ever heard, and seeing her live is a special treat, to say the very least. Her voice is pure, but when she sings, you can feel her strength, emotion and tone reverberate throughout the arena. Absolutely infectious. Her band, FatBackTaffy, is masterful, both as individual instrumentalists and together. Excellence. And so I bought the cd. What do I think? Well, I think if you like a booming voice that finds its stride in power notes, yet knows when to become hushed, soft and sweet, buy it. If you like a voice that knows how to playfully flow on jazzy riffs, buy it. If you like a voice that knows how to capture all the subtle nuances of the music, buy it. If you like a voice that displays attitude and funk, buy it. If you like for candid words to be minced with complimentary musical arrangement, buy it. If you like music that contains a great amount of meaning, passion and soul, off to the music store with you.

"Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Volume 1" is a masterpiece of beautiful singing and passionate thought. The arrangement of the songs is intelligent and each flows fluidly into the next. There are no songs to skip over. This is one of few cds to be heard from beginning to end. With that said, if you are wondering "Who Is Jill Scott?" you will soon have your answer. All you have to do is listen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loving Classical Soul Jill Scott
This album is like a Classical Soul Record. It is timeless. She is so real that she defines the 'Neo-Soul' movement/genre. This album is so deep that it takes you time and effort to truly understand and appreciate the album's beauty.

Jill Scott for anyone who doesn't know is a touch of Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu with the confidence of Aretha Franklin and the vulnerability of Nina Simone. Except she doesn't just sing, she reads her poetry -sounding like rapping, except it's got this calm soothing tone. Her song are very unique and quite different to each other. The entire album gives me a sense of spirit, soul, and reality. It takes me to a different place, and I can just hit play and let it roll. I think this is due to the album not being overly produced like most R&B albums which leaves you feeling empty. This album is jam-packed with SOUL!

There is also a use of variety of instruments. I can still remember how suprised I was when I heard trumpets in "A Long Walk". Each song tells a personal story.

"Jilltro" sets the tone, and you can see why this girl deserves a Grammy! "Exclusively", "A Long Walk", "He Loves Me", "The Way" are excellent songs that deal with love. But my absolutely favorite jam is "Love, Rain" -a piece of brilliance. Jill Scott not only co-wrote and co-produced the album. She wrote most of the lyrics herself, proving how song-writers are really poets.

This album always gets me onto a high positive buzz, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a taste of 'Neo-Soul'. For a darker retrospect album try Sarah McLachlan's "Surfacing" or Lauryn Hill's "Miseducation", but for a positive jam get this one! ... Read more


5. Baduizm
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000005AYM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6135
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Badu and her large turban appeared out of nowhere in early 1997, on a murmuring, romantic album that trod the median between old-school soul and contemporary electronic R&B. Badu's songs, especially the hit "On & On" and the catchy "Certainly," recall Sade in their polished, subtle sexiness. Badu almost never raises her voice--save the occasional "ooh-wee!" exultation--but she skillfully uses repetition and chanting to empower her words. Later portraying a beautiful swamp queen, she was one of the only good things about the movie Blues Brothers 2000. --Steve Knopper ... Read more

Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Personal Favorite Album
Erykah Badu is a very gifted & talented singer, songwriter and actress. Her soothing blends of old-school jazz & soul influences create an amazing backdrop of seductive beats, and a distinctive vocal style. With a musical approach that contains highly mature lyrics, Badu scats her way through an album of masterpieces.

From the opening "Rimshot Intro" all the way to the closing "Rimshot Outro", Badu offers us an in depth look into her wonderful life filled with poetic visions and respected insights. "On & On" is a treasure, as is the hip-hop influenced "Apple Tree". "Otherside of the Game" is silky smooth and my personal favorite track "Next Lifetime" is a tale of reincarnated love.

Though some found "Afro" humarious, it carried a very distinct message, that Badu plays nobodys fool. Other sure fire favorites include "Certainly", "Four Leaf Clover", "Drama" and "Sometimes".

The lyrical content varies from track to track, and its nice to hear Badu's unique style of blended music put together onto one terrific album. She is definetly gifted and I hope that all her releases leave me as happy as this one in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Sleepytime Music...
Odd as it sounds, I really enjoy listening to this album when I'm sleepy. It lets me relax and eventually fall dead asleep. The rhythm and music is just so soothing and relaxing. This definatly isn't driving music if that's what you're looking for. Though some of the songs on this album sound the same, I give Erykah Badu credit because she was truley an influence in modern day r&b and soul, thus paving the way for such artists as Angie Stone and Macy Gray. She is definatly an interesting figure in the music industry, known for her body jewlery and hair raps (I remember hearing Billy Crystal commenting at the Academy Awards on her infamous hair wrap: "They finally found the last missing Oscar. It was found under Erykah Badu's wrap." LOL) Hit songs include "On & On", "Appletree" and one of my favorites, "Certainly." Another song I also enjoy is the catchy, "4 Leaf Clover" as well as the "Intro" and "Outro." "Next Lifetime" I also remember hearing on the radio and is catchy as well. So, if you're interested in modern Soul/R&B that you can relax to (Whether it be at dinner or going to bed) this CD is reccomended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Next lifetime
This is one of the best debuts ever. She put her foot in this one along with her other cds. She created a new field in R&B with her new sound. Her album can fit any mood and make you feel like a glass of wine and just relax.It starts off with the mind moving (Rimshot) and flows all the way through with hits like Otherside of the game, Sometimes, No love and maymore. This is one Cd that I can listen 2 all the way through with out pause or fast forward. She hit a home run with this one . If you like this one you will love Momma's Gun and fall in love with her latest cd Worldwide Underground its hot along with her concert.

3-0 out of 5 stars how cynical can erykah badu be?
i love badu's voice, i love the music, but i cannot stomach how her lyrics convey such cynicism and bitterness. listening to "lifetime" makes me utterly depressed that this woman in her lyrics cannot hope that she can get the man she wants in her present lifetime, perhaps a bit later than sooner. the lyrics in "certainly" give me the impression that badu deliberately preaches that alienation is her life script. has she gone through horrible relationships which reflect in her lyrics? again, i love her voice; billie holiday's sensuality comes to mind when i listen to this CD. the music is amazing; jazzy, soulful, smooth, and entralling. i'm not saying that erykah should sing about all things hunky-dory, but enough with the cynicism.

4-0 out of 5 stars A cooled debut...
Erykah Badu was part of that neo-soul movement from the mid to late 90s that were trying to make REAL R&B rather than all the bad boy hip hop kinda mess that most acts were making. 'Baduism' is a real cool debut, a nice collection of chilled, jazzy numbers about love & spiritualism etc. The main song here is 'On & On', the big single that I personally can play over and over. But there's a lot of other good stuff here, the production is inventive and Badu has a nice style. 'Next Lifetime' is a deep & meaningful song with a lot of truth. All the melodies here are real nice and the album is likely to stay in your hifi for a long time. Well Recommended for those in need of some intelligent R&B. ... Read more


6. Ultimate Toni Braxton
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000DZ3FL
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3504
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars The very best!!!
Finally we can buy a Greatest hits album from this fantastic singer. Here you'll find almost all her hits, I say this because "Spanish guitar" and "How could an angel break my heart" aren't here.
This cd contains the following tracks:
1- "Give u my heart" (with Babyface)
2- "Love shoulda brought you home"
3- "Another sad love song"
4- "Breath again"
5- "Seven whole days" (live)
6- "You mean the world to me"
7- "How many ways"
8- "You're making me high"
9- "Let it flow"
10-"Un-break my heart"
11-"I love me some him"
12-"I don't want to"
13-"He wasn't man enough"
14-"Just be a man about it"
15-"Hit the freeway" (with Loon)
16-"Whatchu need" (new song)
17-"The little things" (new song)
18-"Un-break my heart" (remixed version)

Toni has released 5 studio albums in her career. The first one was in 1993 with the tittle "Toni Braxton". The album won 3 Grammys and was certified Platinum x8 (sold 10 million copies worldwide). The second album was "Secrets" from 1996. The album was also certified Platinum x8 (sold 12 million copies worldwide) and won 2 Grammy awards. Then after some troubles with her label Toni released "The heat" in 2000. An album fresher than her first 2, once again Toni released a hit, the album was certified Platinum x2 in the U.S (sold 4 million worldwide) and won a Grammy for the song "He wasn't man enough".
In 2001 Toni released a holliday album called "Snowflakes". The album was certified Gold.
So finally in 2002 "More than a woman" came out (for me this is a very good cd) but eventhough the album was certified Gold, it went nowhere, the only single "Hit the freeway" only reached #86 in the Billboard's Hot 100. But really that doesn't mean that the album isn't good. Actually it has more hip hop but sounds very good. I think that the problem with that album is that it didn't have a good promootion and Toni was pregnant when it came out.

4-0 out of 5 stars Finest Recorded Moments From One Of The Finest Pop Vocalists
Over the past 10 years, Toni Braxton has released four proper studio albums, which have each been mixed bags in terms of both genre and quality. For the most part, Ultimate Toni Braxton cuts the filler and presents a decades-worth of pop/r&b hits by one of the most recognizable voices in recent music history.

"Another Sad Love Song", "Un-Break My Heart". "Breathe Again", "He Wasn't Man Enough", "You're Makin' Me High" and "You Mean The World To Me" are all radio staples worth revisiting, and several of the songs found here, including "Let It Flow" and "Love Shoulda Brought You Home", have enhanced the films in which they were originally featured. ('Waiting To Exhale' and 'Boomerang', respectively)

As a perk, the versions of songs on Ultimate are the versions heard every 30 minutes on the radio back in the 90's. It's often disappointing to pick up an artists CD, only to realize there are an additional two minutes of the hit single(s) that you don't (and don't care to) know.

This is the only Toni Braxton release to contain her debut single, a collaboration with Babyface (not so much a duet...there's more Toni than Kenny) from the 'Boomerang' movie soundtrack called "Give U My Heart".

In addition, there are two new recordings. The fun and essential Rodney Jerkins production "Whatchu Need", is easily Toni's best song since 2000's "He Wasn't Man Enough", while "The Little Things" is a yawn-fest R. Kelly rehash of "I Don't Want To", the song he penned for her in 1996, already included on this CD.

The grand finale is a previously unreleased radio cut of the Hex Hector remix for "Un-Break My Heart".

More effort could have been put into the sleeve art, but Ultimate Toni Braxton is a solid collection worthy of a place in any pop music lovers collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars LONG OVERDUE! All of Toni's hits and rarities are on here!!
For those who lost or wore out their copy of "Toni Braxton", her debut, this album more than makes up for it! All those hits she had in the '90s and up to 2003 are on here! I still love Another Sad Love Song, Breathe Again, You're Making Me High, Unbreak My Heart and her other ballad hits. But I like her dance numbers such as "He Wasn't Man Enough", the no-nonsense "Hit The Freeway", "Give You My Heart" and others. Most of her hits were with Babyface and LA Reid, but I liked the ones she did with R. Kelly, 3 Boyz from Newark, The Neptunes, Rodney Jerkins (who really funked up her sound a bit in 2000!), David Foster, Keri Lewis of Mint Condition and others. Her vocal stylings and torch-driven delivery are what make these songs listenable. I also like the new songs she did for this album too. She's overcome bankruptcy and other problems and got herself back on top with more hits as an artist and platinum albums. This album justifies what made her famous the past decade. Please get this album soon when you see it on Amazon!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice album
Well this is a good album, worth your money. I liked Toni since 1996 'secret'. Very nice voice.:-) My only gripe is I couldn't back up this CD. :-(

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent One!!
I personally think that this CD is a great compilation of her greatest hits. I could not wait to go out and buy it. She has all of my favorite's on there, with the exception of "Spanish Guitar". I also enjoyed the two un-released tracks "The Little Things", and "Whatchu Need". She is a talented artist and I doubt if she is anywhere near through. So if I could sum it all up, THIS ALBUM IS A MUST BUY!!! ... Read more


7. Happy People / U Saved Me
list price: $19.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0001VOHH0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2341
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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R. Kelly is arguably one of R&B's most productive minds in years and the Chicago native creates music at a pace that few artists in any genre could keep up with. "Happy People/U Saved Me" serves as Kelly's own personal "Best of Both Worlds"--highlighting both the singer's love for stepping (a Midwest-based dance craze) and need for salvation. "Happy People" is the more upbeat of the two discs with Kelly taking on the persona of the Weatherman, a DJ on the fictional LOVE radio station. The album's title track and lead single is a perfect introduction to its infectious sound. Similarly, the midtempo groove of "Red Carpet (Pause, Flash)" will have stepping experts and novices headed straight to the dance floor. While the recurring stepping theme quickly becomes repetitive, you can't help but groove all the way through.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for "U Saved Me." The message-heavy disc sacrifices Kelly's raw talent for melodrama. Songs like "I Surrender" and "Prayer Changes," while expressing a sincere sentiment about believing in something greater than yourself, are a little overwhelming. That said, this disc's title track is a rousing musical tale of overcoming obstacles with the help of God--complete with a rising choir. In the end, "Happy People/U Saved Me," like most double albums, has both its highs and lows. --Rashaun Hall ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gifted
Hard to reconcile the "bad press" that had been a part of the essence of R. Kelly, but there is always something very odd about people who are tremendously gifted. R. Kelly has the dubious distinction of being tremendously gifted and he is operating in the area of his tremendous talent--music. His genious has definitely found it's outlet and this 2 CD set is just ear candy, plain and simple. The Happy People CD just makes you smile. I listen to it at work with my earphones on, and I must appear very bizarre to my co-workers because I'm just'a smiling to beat the band. The U Saved Me CD is music for the soul, and I wind up being "very vocal" when I am playing this CD--much to the chagrin of my co-workers. The best he's made, and the only one he has ever made that I, a mature woman, would buy and listen to from start to finish...and then start it all over again. Truly something for everyone. ... Read more


8. Heart Break
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Asin: B000002PHZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 15916
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars New Edition Hits the Jackpot.
You'd think the departure of New Edition's most successful member would hurt their future, but that's not the case here. Since Bobby Brown ditched the group for a solo career, the brothas from Roxbury roped in Johnny Gill, hooked up with Jam and Lewis, and the result is "Heart Break." If this ain't an r&b classic, I don't know what is. After the cutsey fare of "Cool it Now" and "Count Me Out," New Edition grows up in a big way and releases a stellar album of smooth, but not slick, soul. "If it Isn't Love" is simply a perfect song: polished production from Jam & Lewis, on-point singing from Ralph Tresvant, and cliche-free lyrics. "Boys to Men" is a convincing declaration of maturity featuring Johnny Gill's butter-smooth voice, while the uptempo jams "Where it All Started" (a nice look back at the old days) and "Crucial" still hold up well. From start to finish, "Heart Break" is a triumph and raises the bar of modern r&b. In my school of music, it merits an A.

5-0 out of 5 stars N.E. at their best
Being that I am a die-hard new edition fan, 5 stars simply isn't enough for one of the best r&b albums of all time. It was even more influential because of the timing. New jack swing was still at its infancy and it's safe to say, heart break, along with don't be cruel and guy, established new jack swing as the dominant genre of urban music in 1988. Returning to the album, Jam & Lewis (the production team), and new edition were in prime form, as heard by Ralph, Ricky, and newcomer Johnny. They start off by telling you "that's the way they're livin" after a lively introduction. Continuing at the concert, they make you reminisce with them as they tell you "where it all started from".

Moving away from the concert, their first single, "if it isn't love", had success written all over it. Having a memorable chorus and groundbreaking production, all in compilation with Ralph's silky smooth voice, "if it isnt love" nearly topped the r&b charts at #2 and did pretty well on the pop chart too, #7. After an entertaining skit, things get right down funky on "N.E. heart break". All five members get in on the act, making for a funky dance rhythm, and in the process, peaking at #13 on the r&b chart. "Crucial" continues in the dance arena, but it's more light-hearted. Neverthless, still an enjoyable listen, peaking at #4 on the r&b chart. After another entertaining skit, "you're not my kind of girl" was a viable follow-up to crucial. With its memorable chorus and pleasant dance rhythm, it peaked at #3 on the r&b chart. "Superlady" rounds out the dance/new jack flava of the album.

"Can you stand the rain" introduces the balladry side of heart break. From the outstanding production to the memorable chorus to Johnny's buttery-smooth vocals complimented with Ralph's silky-smooth delivery, "can you stand the rain" was destined to top the charts, and it did for r&b. "Competition", my 3rd favorite track, is new edition at their best. Ricky, Ralph, and Ron complicate each other very nicely and the production is first-rate as well. The only thing missing was a memorable chorus. Nevertheless though, it's still one of the many standout tracks. After they let us know they're comin home, the most memorable tracks on the album follow. "I'm comin home" has a nice mid-tempo groove, which is just right for Ralph's quiet yet forceful delivery. along with his bridge and memorable chorus, it's hard not to snuggle up with your hubby. Rounding out the album is the unforgettable assurance of "boys to men". Johnny's smooth vocals complimented by Ralph's silky bridge, once again, is pure smooth soul at its best. They let us know even if they are maturing, they still can harmonize and croon with the best of them.

All in all, heart break is the best album that new edition has ever recorded. Their is not one filler track, or any distinct contrast of good songs and bad. Every song leads into the next, no matter which style is being used. That says a lot, especially with a majority of r&b albums of that day being uneven. For all of these qualities, this album will go down as one of the most important albums in new jack swing and is first-rate across all other urban genres (adult comtemporary, urban contemporary, classic soul). In other words, it is recommended for the casual r&b fan and essential for the casual new jack fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest R&B albums ever made!
I just got through listening to this album for the 800th time (LOL) This is definitely one of the best albums ever made. My favorite tracks are: Where It All Started; If It Isn't Love; N.E. Hearbreak; You're Not My Kind of Girl; Can You Stand The Rain (One of the best slow jams ever made!) & Boys To Men (Johnny killed this one!)My ONLY complaint about this album is that the version NE Heartbreak that was featured in the video is waaaaay better than the album version. Mike's rap was classic! (I said yo baby/how the hell is ya livin'/cut that zero & roll with Michael Bivins) I'm having a hard time finding the remix but it's doesn't take away from this being the greatest group of all time. NE Forever!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Comeback
This was N.E.'s first album after losing Bobby and adding Johnny. Being a N.E. fan since Candy Girl, I was hesitant at first, but this turned out to be one of my favorite N.E. albums. This album is more grown up than their previous recordings. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes good R&B that is timeless

5-0 out of 5 stars This is what real music is
The amazement of this group for the period of time was great. After Bobby Brown left things were left in disarray but obviouly with replacement member Johnny Gill, New Edition reach a new level. They had since grown up from songs of their younger years(Cool IT Now, Candy Girl,Mr. Telephone Man,) they matured it grown men which is stated on "Boys to Men". They give love to fans by showing how they're "Thats the way we're Livin"."Can you Stand the Rain captures the heart with Johnyy Gill,Tresvant and Bell getting down to business, the mixture of voices by that trio has only been surpassed by a selected few. "Superlady","Im Comin Home" show how much they have really grown. Finally they show that they see others trying to be like them, and tell us "Where it all Started from". ... Read more


9. Waiting To Exhale: Original Soundtrack Album
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000002VPH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5067
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Waiting to Exhale is the exception that proves the rule about mish-mash '90s soundtrack albums. Even though it features 22 different female voices, the album boasts a rare continuity because Babyface wrote or cowrote 15 of the songs and produced all 16. Moreover, the gifted R&B artist used every song to explore the film's theme of women trying to balance self-respect and romantic desire. Not only has Babyface (nee Kenny Edmonds) created a fascinating song suite, he has produced one of the best middle-of-the-road-pop, adult- contemporary albums of the decade. Mary J. Blige stakes out a claim as the new diva on the block with an astonishing performance on "Not Gon' Cry." Babyface's music and lyrics suggest a woman barely holding back a swelling flood of anger and heartache, and Blige's brilliant vocal captures both the agitation and the restraint. --Geoffrey Himes ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Soundtrack...Five Reasons
Waiting To Exhale is such a great soundtrack that men aren't afraid to admit that they have it in their collection. here are five reasons why this soundtrack is a definite must have.

1. Babyface wrote and produced the entire album, and from his history that instantly makes it worth listening to.

2. Mary J. Blige, SWV, Brandy, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Cece Winans, TLC, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Faith Evans all sing on this album. Can You possibly go wrong?

3. Brandy - Sittin Up In My Room is my favorite midtempo track of all time

4. The soundtrack stands alone. In fact I have never seen the movie but own the soundtrack. Usually you buy the soundtrack and then see the movie or vice versa...not so with this one. The songs perfectly tell the story of the movie judging from the reviews of the movie. Every song has a definite theme and feel.

5. The soundtrack is soothing and relaxing but not sleep inducing. Some cd's have a laid back feel but sometimes make you sleepy...that's not evident here though.

Waiting To Exhale - One of the Great Soundtracks of the 90's, right up there with Above The Rim and Murder Was The Case. An Essential album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Soundtrack
The soundtrack for WAITING TO EXHALE is an excellent collection of R&B songs from the divas in R&B. Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Shanice, TLC, Toni Braxton, Brandy, Mary J Blige, Chaka Khan, SWV and many more appear on this soundtrack. Some highlights include the self affirming "Not Gon Cry" by Mary J Blige, the beautiful "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" by Whitney Houston, and also another song by Whitney titled "Why Does It Hurt So Bad", "Let It Flow" by Toni Braxton, "My Funny Valentine" by Chaka Khan, and more. It was a great idea to include so many different female R&B artists, on one collection of great songs, which really do fit the style of the movie. Any fan of R&B music will want this CD, as it represents a different time in R&B, when it meant something completely different, than it does today in R&B. A great soundtrack overall and well worth looking into, and the movie is pretty good too!

5-0 out of 5 stars A greatest OST album ever!
first, the artists are great!! they are not only famous but awesome. all songs impressed me. i bought this album luckily. it is a rare album in korea. my money deserves this album. songs are impressing. i don't regret this album and i recommend this.

Brandy - Sittin up in my room
Mary J. Blige - Not gon cry
Whitney & CeCe - Count on me
Sonja Marie - and i gave my love to you

4-0 out of 5 stars a must-have of the 90's
your 90's collection of r&b music is incomplete without this compilation of r&b/soul singles from artists of that time like TLC, Toni Braxton, Mary J Blige, Brandy and musical legends like Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin and Patti Labelle. It would have been even better if female artists like Janet Jackson, Monica, Aaliyah, Mariah Carey and En Vogue were featured too, but still a must have. Standout tracks are Exhale, Sittin Up In My Room, This Is How It Works, Not Gon' Cry, Count On Me

3-0 out of 5 stars not the best
i love babyface. he is much better than david foster but still i was skeptikal listening to an album full of babyface songs, as it would get kinda boring...and it did. i liked whitneys hit "exhale", Toni braxton's "let it flow" and brandy's "Sittin up in my room" but that's all i pretty much liked. I wasn't feeling TLC (tho i usually do) on "This is how it works." I love all the singers on this soundtrack and i thought with babyface it would be a dream come true but it ended up being a nightmare. Sorry but a WHOLE ALBUM with babyface? I dont think so. ... Read more


10. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite
list price: $13.98
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Asin: B000002ASA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5227
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Handsome in his designer clothes and angelic, nappy dreads, Maxwell styles himself a modern-day urban love prophet in the tradition of Marvin Gaye. He concocts a conceptual music suite that purports to tell a fully rounded tale of meaningful love set in the tough but misunderstood inner city. What he delivers, however, contains only the faintest hints of what he promises. Instead we get a whole lot of the same tired R&B elevator slush and lyrics like "Gonna take you in the room suga'/ Lock you up and love for days." Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is significant only in that it recasts the same old same old as something monumental, and nearly pulls it off.

Initially, there's a lot to like about Maxwell: On his openers, "Urban Theme" and "Welcome," the early '80s full-band R&B and jazz pop grooves are reminiscent of Maze's brightest days and Steely Dan's coolest nights. But soon even Maxwell's passionate voice gets lost in a flat mix that turns every song into faceless background music. While R&B is at no loss for suave and sexy personalities to take the stage, a dearth of new ideas keeps the genre for the most part floundering and visionless. In the end, Maxwell's urban hang suite is just another empty room.--Roni Sarig

... Read more

Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars Urban Excellence
3 words...
GET THIS ALBUM!!

If your a lover of quality R&B then this should be in your collection. If its not, then your not as cool as you think you are!!

Maxwell, brings an album which is totally fresh and full of great tracks.
Vocally he is top notch and the music will satisfy all.

Track 1
The Urban Theme
Basically its an intro. But funky and sets the mood. You've opened the doors to Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite here.

Track 2
Welcome
So your into the Hang Suite now, and Maxwell is welcoming you. This is the first taste of his voice. Its a very cool track that is great to kick back with a drink in your hand and listen too.

Track 3
Sumthin' Sumthin'
Now we really get into it. This track is out of this world. You might know this one, it was a single. Catchy chorus but oh so cool. Sexy sexy track.

Track 4
Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)
This just beats Sumthin Sumthin for the title of the albums best track. One of my favourite songs of all time. Once again its cool and catchy, but its a beautifuly written song. With Maxwell's voice oozing soul, this track is without a doubt fantastic.

Track 5
Dancewitme
This track is bassy and once again really chilled. Maxwell is making a move this woman and telling her to dance with him. Its another sexy track. Not to be missed.

Track 6
Til' The Cops Come Knocking
This is the first ballad on the album. If you want to impress a lady fellas, make them dinner, bottle of wine, with this track playing in the back ground. A winner for sure.

Track 7
Whenever Wherever Whatever
A sentence most people like to hear. Another classy ballad. Not a great as Til the cops... but still a beautiful track.

Track 8
Lonely's The Only Company
The theme of the album is a chilled one. This ballad is not only fantastic but very emotional. Maxwell's voice range is in full flow here. A corker.

Track 9
Reunion
Bit more upbeat here than the previous three. Still a cool song. Maxwell continues his emotional mood. Superb.

Track 10
Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)
Fellas, want to propose to a lady? Let Maxwell do it for you!
His voice shows a completly new side here. Sounds almost like another singer. Its just testement to his vocal ability.
A lady won't say no!

Track 11
The Suite Theme
Its the farewell tune. But while other people are leaving the Hang Suite, Maxwell wants one particular lady to stay with him.
Its love making music baby! Fantastic end to a uttely superb album.

Overall
I cannot recommend this album highly enough.
You must buy it. Your missing out if you do not have it.
Its just fantastic.

5-0 out of 5 stars .... Just the beginning for Maxwell
If you are a R&B music fan and you don't have this CD in your collection, you might want to do some soul searching. This is one of the best CDs of all time, in my opinion. I first heard Maxwell when I saw the video for "Til The Cops Come Knockin'". For most new artists, I have to hear a few songs before I buy their debut CD. That wasn't the case this time. Then, to make it even better, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" was released to radio, before "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" was released. After I purchased the CD and listened to it a couple of times, I realized that Maxwell had a classic on his hands. I would put this CD right up there with D'Angelo's and Chico DeBarge's debut CD, as well as Eric Benet's and Erykah Badu's. Although, their styles are all different, their CDs bring light to a different form of R&B, separate from what you hear most of today. My favorite two songs on the CD are "Welcome" and "Whenever Wherever Whatever". Those two songs represent the best uptempo and slow song on the CD, in my opinion. "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" is really an r&b CD with a jazz appeal to it. That's one of the reasons why I like the CD so much. Other gems include, "Sumthin' Sumthin", "Lonely's The Only Other Company" and "Suitelady". I would also recommend that you pick up the "Ascension" (Don't Ever Wonder)" CD maxisingle, because it has a remix version of the original song and a song that is not on the CD called "Lock You Up In Love For Days". You should also pick up "Maxwell's MTV Unplugged" for the classic "This Woman's Work" and his 2nd disc "Embrya". Believe me, you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Opinions are a dime a dozen!
Urban Hang Suite is my very favorite record in my collection!! This record is the "Holy Grail" of the post 1970's Soul Revolution!
THIS IS REAL SOUL MUSIC AND MAXWELL'S BEST WORK.

From the biggest Maxwell fan of all time, MichauX http://www.michauxmusic.com

Maxwell, if you are reading this, I can't wait to get your new record, "Black Summer's Night".
By the way, Tom Coyne has an autographed copy of "Just MichauX" waiting for you when you come into your mastering session at Sterling Sound.

4-0 out of 5 stars ........a must
I never get tired of this disc. Great funk, smooth vocals, and never boring. If your reading this and you don't buy it, your making a big mistake.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fresh at the time...
I remember 1995 when this kid came out of nowhere with 'Maxwells Urban Hang Suite' and blew everybody away. Back then it was all slowed down g-funk with explicit lyrics and wailing & screaming that qualified as contemporary R&B. Maxwells more intelligent and changed all that with his throw back to the ole school masters. The kids silky smooth falsetto combined with laid back, jazzy grooves makes for one awesome listening experience.

From front to back this album flows perfectly, the kid constructs real harmonies with real feeling & strong but understated sexual vibes. You've got to consider either this or D'Angelos 'Brown Sugar' as the Greatest Soul Record of the 90s. Back then it looked like Maxwell was going to be a major player but his two albums since have been real disappointments and I guess D'Angelo really is The Don these days. Classic debut though. ... Read more


11. Forever My Lady
list price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002OFS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7035
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (31)

3-0 out of 5 stars Put tracks #1 to #5 on continuous repeat and u got 5 stars
Jodeci's freshman album was a definite hit and it put these church boys from down south on the international map of secular music. However, Jodeci knows love songs not dance beats and fails in its efforts at upbeat tunes. If this cd was recordable, I would record over all songs after track #5. Even with the medicore and half-assed songs that fill the rest of the album. The love songs that greet you at the commencement of the CD are truly contemporary r&b classics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forever a Jodeci fan.....
Jodeci first released their debut album Forever My Lady in 1991. They have been noted as sparking off the freaky, bump-and-grind flavored songs that we now know so well. This quartet knew how to make awesome slow-jams that younger people could relate to. Jodeci paved the way for the R&B boy bands of today like 112, Dru Hill, Jagged Edge, Silk and countless others. In my opinion, Forever My Lady was a musical masterpiece. Never before had we been serenaded with such smooth, sexy ballads like this. My favorite song is "Stay", where Jodeci made begging sound so good. The best thing about Jodeci other than their music and lyrics was their ability to harmonize. They gave the cautious, mellow songs of the 90s a rough edge and urban flavor. Let's remember that they were the bad boys of the R&B music scene at this time. Next up is "Come & Talk To Me" and "Forever My Lady" where the group displayed their distinct style and made their mark on the music industry. These four crooners showed their soft side with "U & I", a pledge to everlasting love. On the other hand, "Gotta Love" was their contribution to the New Jack Swing R&B movement with its upbeat tempo and hip-hop groove. Overall, Jodeci and Forever My Lady taught us how to get down and dirty, have true love and go half on a baby...what more can I say.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant album indeed.
I was about 10 years old when I first heard this album. I fell in love with it and listened to it constantly. Today, I am proud to say that Jodeci was the best R&B group ever. Like others say, 1-5 was the best tracks on the album. But also, number 9, 10, and 12 was great too. Their voices, along with their "Begging" type of ways got more and more people to listen to their lyrics, rather than chorus lines. Jodeci did pave the way for today's R&B artists. Jodeci had a tight way to harmonize and they also had nice instruments for the melody and background. I jus don't listen to the song and the lyrics, I also listen for the instruments and changes in notes. Much talent. My favorite track on there is of course "Forever My Lady." Not only is it my favorite track, but also my favorite song. I am also a big Al B.Sure fan also and with him as a co. producer, things were fine. I wish they were to soon reunite, along with the help of Al B.Sure and Babyface to make some more tracks. I'm sure it would be an excellent album. I recomment any R&B lover to buy this album. It's worth the money.

5-0 out of 5 stars classic
oh how i long for jodeci to come back. They sang such great ballads. this album is a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Romantic SMOOTH R&B from very talented boys!
This is one of the best R&B Groups of the 90's. K-Ci has such a rich deep voice and Jo-Jo makes the songs very emotional. So romantic and great to listen to with a loved one. ... Read more


12. Don't Be Cruel
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B000002PHV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8406
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Although his first solo record tanked, this release looked like the beginning of a superstar career. Brown, a former lead vocalist with New Edition (he was replaced by Johnny Gill, but both men participate in most NE reunions) has an appealing, if somewhat grainy, voice. It's a good match for the hip-hop beats that underpin some of the best songs here, especially "My Prerogative," which at the time sounded like an anthem. His ability to deftly merge R&B's upscale and hip-hop street esthetic (both Teddy Riley and Babyface produce tracks on this CD) changed the role of the rake hero. Sadly, this was Brown's lone significant musical moment as a solo artist. Except for marrying Whitney Houston, his life since has become a skein of self-destructive activities. --Martin Johnson ... Read more

Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars It Was His Prerogative.
If you weren't at least a teenager in the late 1980s, then you'll most likely have a hard time believing that Bobby Brown made headlines for his hits and not for his embarrassing run-ins with the law. In retrospect, the success of this former New Edition member wasn't supposed to happen and it surprised all parties involved--even Brown himself. After the flop album "King of Stage," Brown had one more chance to prove himself as a solo artist, and nobody was sure if "Don't Be Cruel" would be a hit. Fortunately for him, it was. It skyrocketed to Number One on the album charts, spawned a string of Top Ten hits, and his onstage dance moves made him a new teen heartthrob. What's more, "Don't Be Cruel" is credited as an album that helped put two things on the map: a) new jack swing and b) LA Reid & Babyface, the production team who did a handful of the material on this album. However, his most familiar single was the Gene Griffin/Teddy Riley-produced "My Prerogative," which is just as slammin' a new jack groove as anything Guy ever recorded. The hits "Every Little Step" (whose original album version is way better than the single remix, in my mind), "Roni," and the ballad "Rock Wicthca" are all bonafide jams that have that late-1980s r&b feel, while the album cut "I'll Be Good to You" also stands out pretty well. "Don't Be Cruel" isn't a perfect album, though. Brown's vocal style is limited and the second half of the album loses a bit of steam. But it's an overall fun r&b record that proves Brown did indeed have a life well before he made headlines as Mr. Whitney Houston.

5-0 out of 5 stars new jack classics
Bobby Brown is credited for being the most commercially succcessful artist from the era now known as new jack swing. And with good reason too. Don't Be Cruel was his 2nd solo project that was in deep contrast to his 1st. It was more aggressive, harder-edged, and just a new artistic format overall. He always had a niche for rapping, even with new edition, and he truly shines on "dont be cruel", "my perogative", and "all day, all night". Not only did he prove that he could rap, but he also showed that he can croon too, as shown on classics like "roni", "rock witcha", and "i really love you girl". Overall, Brown showed his versatility and charisma, riding to the top of the r&b charts in the process. Brown may not have originated new jack swing, but he certainly is the one who popularized it, along with his cohorts new edition, guy, and al b. sure. If you are even a casual new jack fan, "Don't Be Cruel" is a must-have.

5-0 out of 5 stars real r&b music
usher is the only artist today that still uses this style. bobby brown is so talented i can't believe he stopped making music. this is as classic of a cd as michael jackson's off the wall. get you life together and get back to what you do best music. i can't wait to hear some new music from you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most influential R&B album of the last 15 years
When people think of the Bobby Brown these days, they think of the pathetic loser that's bringing down Whitney Houston's life and career; but at one time he was the biggest singer in the world. People were questioning his decision to leave New Edition; but it was the best move he could he could possibly make(and for New Edition; their post-Bobby album "Heartbreak" is a classic). This album is solely responsible for the raunchy bad boy R&B that is flooding the airwaves today; from Usher, B2K, Marques Houston, R.Kelly,Tyrese, Ginuwine and even Justin Timberlake owe B.Brown their careers. This has some of modern urban music's standards;"My Perogative"(which unfortunately be his life's theme song), "Roni"(MY SONG!), "Every Little Step", "On Our Own" and the anthemic title track. This will probably be Bobby's last shining moment in the spotlight; as the old saying goes: There's nothing worse in life to see than wasted potential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every Little Step I Take...You Will Be There...
I don't remember what it was earlier this year ( prolly the radio ) talking about old Bobby Brown was about to drop again and how it would be better than 'Don't Be Cruel'. I bust out laughing...I thought 'Impossible...preposterous, ludicrous!" After all, this album was THE JOINT when it dropped. I don't care what anyone said if you didn't have this album you were an outsider, a joke, the laughing stock. IF you didn't know "Don't Be Cruel" by heart, forget about having friends.

"Ohoh, girl

As long as I've been givin' my love to you
You should be givin' me your love, too
But you just keep on actin' just like a fool
You know it ain't cool
Don't Be Cruel...cause I would never be that cruel to you...
Don't Be Cruel...girl you need to change your attitude!"

You know you had your little childhood relationship battles...I know you did. That was the jam...it was undeniable. 'Roni' was equally the jam.

"My heart belongs to tenderoni ( she's my only love!)
She's My Only Love ( My Heart)
The truth about Roni, she's a sweet ol' girl
About the sweetest little girl in the whole wild world
She'll make the toughest homeboy fall deep in love
Said once you had a Roni you will never give her up
She's a special kind of girl that makes her daddy feel proud
You know the kinda girl that stands out in crowds
Found a tender roni and the Roni is so right
I think I'm gonna love her for the rest of my life"

WHAT!? Known by heart by many. And those were just the semi-jams. Don't forget about 'My Prerogative', 'Rock Witcha' and 'Every Little Step'. Straight up JAMMIN. Funky, movin, grooving, and straight up smoove. The Hip Hop and R&B was PERFECTLY blended here and never since has it been surpassed...maybe equalized but not surpassed. Definitely (in my mind) the opal of the New Jack swing era. Bobby Brown - Don't Be Cruel...a MUST HAVE. ... Read more


13. Poison
list price: $6.98
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Asin: B000002O6V
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 38572
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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In 1990, it was still fairly novel to mix R&B songcraft with overpowering hip-hop beats, so this spinoff by New Edition members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe seemed innovative and exciting. Sadly it hasn't aged well. None of the three are compelling singers, and they lack the ability to plead for love effectively (anyone can demand love, but a true soulman has to convince a reluctant participant). Nor are they imaginative rappers--neither their words nor their delivery stand out. But this disc came before the likes of Missy Elliott, Puff Daddy, Jermaine Dupri, or Dallas Austin made a big impact on the scene. As such it's a fine document of black teenage lust during the Gulf War months. --Martin Johnson ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars new jack at its best
i cant say enuff about bbd. from their spinoff debut in 1990 to their most recent release in 2000, they will truly be remembered as one of the most innovative acts in new jack swing. with that said, "poison" established that feat. not only was it a commercial success, but it triggered a domino-effect as everyone was beginning to tolerate new jack swing as the heart of urban music. in relation to the album, every single track feeds off the next. "dope" lets u know right off the bat that they are not new edition. the lyrics are harder-edge, the rapping is pleasant, and the beat is refreshing. it also sets the tone for the rest of the album with their harder-edge, sexually explicit lyrics on tracks like "do me!", "let me know sometihing", and "poison", among others. Towards the end, hints of new edition begin to surface with the surprisingly well-produced ballad "when will i see you smile again" and follows it up with a just as beautiful ballad "i do need you". the only sore thumb is the last track, poison (club version). I still think they could have crafted just one more ballad or two to make the album more complete. nevertheless, "poison" is the essential new jack album. If you enjoyed the new jack era and want to reminisce, "poison" is a must-have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ain't Nut'in' Changed
After so many faceless, Guy soundalike albums came out in the late '80s to early-to mid-'90s (II D Extreme, Basic Black, Intro, Today, Arb, Le Gent, Force One Network, Lo-Key, Mind, Lorenzo, ect.), its important to give credit to the "new jack swing" era's most creative and imaginative figures, Bell Biv DeVoe. Formely of New Edition, the trio is comprised of Ricky Bell, Michael Bivens, and Ronnie DeVoe. Bell Biv DeVoe got a range of producers for its debut album, containing the popular, established hitmakers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Public Enemy producers Hank and Keith Shocklee. The results would be the most tough-minded, hard-edged blend of R&B/funk and hip-hop the era had ever seen. Poison was unlike anything New Edition had ever recorded, departing from the usual and customary Jackson 5-influenced "bubblegum soul" New Edition was originally known for. The sounds were funkier, and the hooks, lyrics, and vocals were sexier.

The overall arrangement would payoff. Poison hit No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 5 on the Billboard 200, unleashing five hits, two top five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 ("Poison" No. 3 and "Do Me" No. 3), and three top ten on the R&B charts ("B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?" No. 1, "She's Dope!" No. 9, "When Will I See You Smile Again?" No. 3). "Poison" was slingshoted by a driving skipping hip-hop beat. The song mixed their sweet, well-honed harmony singing with tough, aggressive R&B funk with even a blend of Rap. "Do Me!" "B.B.D. (Thought It Was Me)?" and "She's Dope!" followed the same route. B.B.D. returns close to the New Edition sound, with the excellent new jack ballads (two of the finest the genre has to offer) "When Will I See You Smile Again?" and "I Do Need You."

Along with Guy, Bobby Brown, and Keith Sweat, Bell Biv DeVoe delivered some of new jack swing's greatest material. While most "New Jacks" waisted their time trying to be Guy clones, Bell Biv DeVoe took a daring risk to distinguish their own sound and style and the results were un-describable. Unfortunately, the sounds of new jack swing wouldn't survive the '90s, but for the brief run new jack swing had (late-'80s-early-'90s) it was the finest music we had seen in the last twenty years, timeless. Poison is arguably the greatest new jack swing release, only to be rivaled by Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel, Guy's self-titled debut, Keith Sweat's Make it Last Forever, and to a lesser-degree Boyz II Men's Cooleyhighharmony, Troop's Attitude, and Tony Toni Tone's The Revival.

5-0 out of 5 stars old days
Aww I remember poison. That was the JAM! They were all good while it lasted.

5-0 out of 5 stars New Jack's Most Creative Outfit!
Bell Biv Devoe stormed onto the urban contemporary scene at the height of new jack swing. Coming off an impressive run with New Edition with "Heart Break" and Bobby Brown's breakthrough success with "Don't Be Cruel", their was so much anticipation for their debut release. It's safe to say the spin-off group answered the expectations more than they initially hoped for.

Debuting as the No. 1 r&b Album, "Poison" spun off FOUR hit singles, with two topping the charts, and was basically all the rage throughout 1990 and an early part of 1991. From the urgency of "Do Me!" to the pleading of "When Will I See You Smile Again" to the rawness of "She's Dope!" to the lighter convey of "I Do Need You", B.B.D. successfully departed from the bubblegum sound of New Edition that claimed there name to fame and was the one of the first new jack outfits to acquire a harder-edge. Many other urban and pop acts were to follow in their footsteps, but harder-edged "new jack swing" began on this monumental release. They single-handedly transformed new jack, and would domino-effect the genre's dominance of the urban audience for a couple of more years.

To add more prudence to their signficance, there is not a dud track. From the booty-shaking, be-boping, get-on-the-floor-and-dance new jack cuts to the slow-burning, convincing ballads, B.B.D. put together a hell of an album! Even the club version of "Poison" is distinguished from the original! Unfortunately, this would be the pinnacle of B.B.D.'s career, save for the babyface smash "Something In Your Eyes" on their sophomore release, and is essential for casual or die-hard new jack fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Posterity, Please!
All those new jacks out there somewhere... you know there's either a tape of this album under your beds, or else there should have been. With tracks like "Poison" and "BBD... I Thought It Was Me", Bel Biv Devoe hit the big time even if only for a short while.

Thing is, the time, the production, the place, it was all perfect. Over 13 years later, it's not as hard-hitting or as listenable as it was then, but respect must be paid. Some essential new jack tunes for a new jack era. ... Read more


14. Boyz II Men - Legacy: Greatest Hits Collection
list price: $13.98
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Asin: B00005QZ1S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4368
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Legacy is the right title for this album. Boyz II Men were the original, modern-day boy band, predating both 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Heavily influenced by doo-wop groups such as the Platters and the Dells and developed by ex-New Edition member Michael Bivins, Boyz II Men quickly rose to heavyweight status after the foursome's 1991 debut, Cooleyhighharmony, their success based on romantic ballads and strong vocals. However, they lacked the charisma and looks to really make an impact on the world, and they're perhaps the only group that could be described as "quietly" selling 35 million records. This collection of their best moments concentrates on their strengths as crooning Cupids, exemplified by their massive hit and classic ballad "End of the Road" (taken from the Boomerang soundtrack). "Hey Lover," featuring LL Cool J, is as energetic as the album gets. Legacy is unabashedly assembled for lovers of slow, romantic bedroom soul. --Jake Barnes ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Retrospective
I find it strange how quickly Boyz II Men have seemed to fade. They had some of the best 90's pop and R&B and some of the biggest hits of that decade. Most are represented here. Their first album was a smash and included some of their best songs "Motownphilly," "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday", and "In the Still of the Nite." They also had a huge hit with "End of the Road" in 1992 from the Boomerang soundtrack. Their 2nd album is their undisputed "super album" and launched one of the biggest singles of all time, the fantastic "I'll Make Love To You" along with "Water Runs Dry" and one of my personal favorites "On Bended Knee." Then Boyz II Men reached their peak as they along with Mariah Carey *another fantastic pop artist* contributed to the biggest single of all time "One Sweet Day." Then, that's when things started to fade for the supergroup. Their 3rd album launched the beautiful #1 hit "4 Seasons of Loneliness" along with another equally good song "Doin Just Fine" but it had nowhere near the success of their previous albums. Then their 4th album did lesser still and is only represented here by "Pass You By" which is still a good song. It's a shame that Boyz II Men aren't getting the attention they once did. They offer some good material and deserved all the success they got in their prime which was the mid-90's. This is a definite first rate purchase for anyone who wants to experience their music that might have missed it the first time around. Also, if you like this, I recommend the Backstreet Boys. Another very talented group.

5-0 out of 5 stars There Legacy
This is a great collection 0f Boyz II Men hits and I will give you a review by review of this album this is a great one.
1.Motownphilly-This is there 1st song R&B/Hip Hop 10/10
2.Its so hard to say good bye to yesterday-For Daryl Kile 10/10
3.End of the Road-Broke a 38 year record #1(13)weeks 10/10
4.In the still of the night-Great singing 9/10
5.Hey Lover-A nice smooth love rap song for ya 10/10
6.Ill make love to you-Probally there best song solo 10/10
7.On Bended Knee-sounds like Incomplete by Sisqo 10/10
8.Water Runs Dry-song beautifully 10/10
9.One Sweet Day-My #1 or #2 song of all time #1(16weeks)10/10
10.Doin just fine-I guess it is OK 8/10
11.4 Seasons of Loneliness-There last #1 Hit this is great 10/10
12.A Song for mama-This was also a great song 9/10
13.Passin me by-Should have been a big hit but its great 10/10
Lyrics 10 Production 10 Music 10 Style 10 Voice 10
Overall=50/50 This album is perfect for Boyz II Men fans

This simply a must buy in R&B or pop music get it now.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
this c.d. can't not be a 5 star album.

5-0 out of 5 stars The second best R&B album I have ever heard
this album is the second best R&B album I have ever heard. the voises of these guys are amazin. they are like an american choir. absolutely amazin. no song on this album is a bad one... trust me. although some are better than others. for example:
the best song on this album are....... sh*t, i cant decide. the ones a enjoy listenin to the most are........ sh*t, i cant decide again.. they are just ALL absolutely class. i wud recomend this album to any one. even the little 2 minute interludes are summit to be proud of. this solid album by these five guys have earned a place in my hall of fame right below ...... JOE - All That I Am

4-0 out of 5 stars Skip Legacy - Get the Millennium Collection
As of October 2003, you will be better off getting the cheaper and better Boyz II Men Millennium Collection. Search Amazon for B0000CERLF - it'll take you right there.

You lose two tracks from Legacy: Hey Lover with LL Cool J, and One Sweet Day with Mariah Carey, but there are plenty of Carey collections with the latter song.

But you gain the #1 song "Thank You", plus "Uhh Ahh" and the gorgeous acapella track "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday".

And you save a coupla bucks. ... Read more


15. Chocolate Factory
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00007E8J1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4145
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Perhaps R. Kelly's brushes with the law have caused him to turn down his love light, since his seventh album Chocolate Factory takes scrupulous pains to show an idealized high-minded face of love, eschewing his usual steamy cocktail of raunchy lust and replacing it with a sweet, winsome romanticism. "I'll Never Leave," is a wistful valentine, while "The Heart of a Woman," is embarrassingly empathetic to the plight of the feminine kind and is hardly the kind of fare that one expects from Marvin Gaye's heir apparent. Despite his real life racy escapades, Kelly is at his best musically when he's an unrepentant bad boy but he doesn't even show any grit until "Been Around the World," his confessional duet with a rasping Ja Rule, the fretfulbluesy "You Made Me Love You," and "Ignition," a paean to parking.Despite "Ignition"’s first line, "Girl, please let me stick my key in your ignition, babe" it's rather tame by the standards Kelly has set on his earlier discs. "Chocolate Factory" also includes 6 bonus tracks from Loveland the album that was slated for a 2002 release, but was ostensibly shelved after it was rampantly bootlegged on the Internet. Despite the disc's soft focus, Kelly is at the height of his vocal powers, and once he weans himself from the gooey sentimentality and returns to his persona of a smooth seductive operator he'll once again be an artist to be reckoned with. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (115)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic R&B Grammy Type Material !!!!
Just like his HUGE UNFIRE CLASSIC "TP-2.COM" Album, R.Kelly still have so much love, harmonies and soul coming from his mind and his heart and create another DIAMOND PEARL GEM PIECE OF WORK. With this beautiful package gift of awesome smooth grooves from old School and Modern Era he has himself the most inspirational work (along with TP-2 and his Self Titled Album)of any other male ever made. All the Tracks are OFF THE CHAIN. Of course, PRODUCED, WRITTEN AND ARRANGED BY THE R&B KING HIMSELF. It just proves one more time that True Genius Artists and Musicians don`t die ever. And R.Kelly as Legend that will never ever dissapeared from our hearts and minds.

My Top 10
(Not in Order):
1)Heart Of A Woman
2)Ignition
3)Ignition Remix
4)Forever
5)Forever More
6)Dream Girl
7)Step In the Name Of Love
8)Step In the Name Of Love(Remix)
9)Snake
10)I`ll Never Leave

Dammit, Go and Buy it Now and all of his past albums too!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pied Piper Struck Again
This teflon superstar has been giving us some of his best music lately and hasn't slowed down a bit. He has just gave Twista a hit single intitled So Sexy and it is hotttttt. This album is no different From start to finish this album is a masterpiece.

1. chocolate factory-4 stars(beginning of a new era)
2. Step In the Name Of Love-5 stars(Loved it on Loveland)
3. Heart of a woman-5(A classic R. kelly song)
4.I'll Never Leave-5(What more can I say)
5.Been Around The World-4.5(Catchy Song)
6.You Made Me Love You-3.5(Kinda Annoying)
7.Forever-5(Marry meeeee)
8.Dream Girl-5(Fellas u know we Have 1)
9.Ignition-5(should have made a video)
10.Ignition(remix)-5 (Too-to,Beep Beep)
11.Forever More-5 (Great wedding Song)
12.You Knock Me Out-4 (not his style but good song)
13.Step In The Name Of Love(Remix)-5 (Great Remix)
14.Imagine That-5(Strawberries and whipped cream)
15.Showdown-5(R&B Thug at it again)
16.Snake-5(Big Tigger First Song)Crazy!!!
17.Who's That(Ft. Fat Joe)-5(R&B cats can't phase him)

I leave u with this
-I know i need a hug but yall need a hug 2 cuz god gon judge me tha same day he judge u-Kellz

4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but....
...Has anyone considered the definition of "irony" being the title of this album?

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Wow! This album totally blew me away. This is one of those albums where almost every song is really sheer ecstacy. In my opinion, Chocolate Factory is better than R. Kelly's other albums, and I say this even though I absolutely loved most of his other albums, particularly 12 Play and tp2.com, whcih are both among my favorite of all time.

Say what you want about R. as far as his legal problems are concerned, but I think everyone needs to acknowledge that his music is blazing, and he is really the Master. On this album, he really brings the heat.

My favorite song include:

Chocolate Factory
Step in the Name of Love
Been Around the World f/ Ja Rule
You Made Me Love You
Ignition
Ignition Remix
You Knock Me Out
Step in the Name of Love [Remix]
Imagine That
Showdown f/ Ronald Isley

1-0 out of 5 stars sorry R
i dont have much love for CHILD MOLESTERS and RAPISTS

ur voice aint bad tho, its a real shame ... Read more


16. Concrete Rose
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Asin: B000654ZBE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 654
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17. My Life
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000002OU8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4578
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

During one of the "interludes" on My Life, Keith Murray is rapping about "Grab your cranium for my ultimatum," when someone in the studio control booth asks producer Chucky Thompson, "Hey, Chuck, put on some of that smooth [stuff]." Murray disappears; the dreamy synth chords of Blige's title track emerge, and her sultry voice moans with a combination of weary loneliness and unslaked desire. The ballad which follows is "smooth" but never slick, for the singer's sinuous, extended notes confess the blues even as they yearn for something better. It's tempting to see this little scenario--the rapper being turned off in favor of the soul diva--as a repudiation of hip-hop in favor of old-fashioned R&B. An honest listen to this album, however, makes such an interpretation impossible. Blige does no actual rapping herself on her long-awaited second outing, but the sound of "My Life" would have been impossible without hip-hop. The results confirm the promise of Blige's '92 debut; she is the premier soul diva of the hip-hop generation. --Geoffrey Himes ... Read more

Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of hip hop and soul - still unmatched
Before I begin, y'all need to know that I absolutely adore Mary J. Blige. She is unquestionably my favorite female R&B singer and I love her to death. Her voice just aches with desperation and has such a yearning beauty and soulfulness that I just melt everytime I listen to her. Coming up from Yonkers, New York, she has kept it real through and through in her whole career. It all comes straight from her heart. If I could only pick one of her albums to take to my grave, MY LIFE would still probably be my choice, even though it was released way back in '94. It is probably the finest moment in music mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs' career, which, sadly, is all-but washed up these days. While he still tends to borrow from other artists' songs as he is notorious for doing, the melodic samples here, actually are inspiring, especially when coupled with Mary's incredibly beautiful voice, and make this an original album of soulful renderings derived from the old school and backgrounded by true hip hop and Mary's urban streetwise outlook.

A giant leap forward in artistry, almost all of the 17 tracks on MY LIFE were penned by Mary herself with the help of co-producer Combs and the multi-instrumentalist Chucky Thompson. This is modern R&B with substance and real emotion. Her soul yearns both sadly on songs like "I Never Wanna Live Without You", "Be With You", "Don't Go", and "No One Else" and happily on "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" and "You Bring Me Joy." It's all an emotional outpouring that your eyes see through smoke and tears as you cry into your drink, whether it is out of happiness or joy. "I Love You" is one of the most heartfelt and moody songs I've ever heard and I remember listening to it over and over again at a time not long ago when I thought I had lost the love of my life (All those pretty memories/I know you can hear me now/For the record I love you... When I found out that you were leaving me/I coudn't sleep thinking about/All the things that we've been through/Now all I want to do is tell you/That I miss you so much...). As a lifelong die hard fan of hip hop and R&B I would easily name this as one of my favorite albums of all time, so it naturally holds something special for me. Mary J. Blige is one of the only singers in this at-times-all-too-fabricated game who can bring her soul to the listener and truly make her emotions felt. One Love.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Mary
A very emotional and spiritual outpouring, Mary lets fans and listeners into her world, and shares her feelings through this wonderful album with some tight music. The album takes listeners through the ups and downs of life. The melodies are original and unlike any other. "I Love You" has a catchy hook and mesmerizing melody with Mary's beautiful voice sailing through it. "Mary Jane" and "I'm Going Down" are reminiscent of 70's R&B, very Stevie Wonder sounding, maybe indication of things to come on her 1999 album MARY. "You Bring Me Joy" is a tight R&B jam that will keep you hitting the repeat button on your cd player. The album gives listers faith in songs like "Be Happy" and "You Gotta Believe". The album is a listening experience in itself, she tells it straight up and doesn't leave anything out. If you haven't heard this album yet you've missed out, so its time to hear this excellent, essential album from Ms. Mary J Blige.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
Mary's soulful voice shines. This album just flows and flows. Nobody can match MJB soulful vibe and voice. She is just unbeatable. This is a great desert island cd, car cd, anytime cd.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mary is the Best
I didn't think that Mary. J could follow up her debut, but she did. Long time fans are going to love this CD. So many memories, so many classic hits. This CD is only for hardcore Mary fans. If you're not a big Mary J fan this CD is not recommended, but if you are, pick it up.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is My Girl
Memories,oh my gosh i was like 9 when this album came out,loved it then and still do, but now that i'm older i understand and appreciate it more.Get this album I promise you you will not regret it,if you do i'll pay ya back...lol. No but really the entire album is banging and it's a must.Feel the soul from the soulflower, peace. ... Read more


18. What's the 411?
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002OME
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9112
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Perhaps the true test of a classic is this: something that's commonplace now but at the time appeared revolutionary. The notion that a female R&B singer could be as informed by the Real Roxanne as she was by Aretha Franklin, that she could give love to the streets and the roughnecks--while still delivering soul-drenched love songs that came from that wounded womanly space--was, in a word, groundbreaking. It was the sound of the New Jills, and of a new genre, aptly called hip-hop soul. Featuring production from a then-upstart Puffy, and a collection of songs that alternately swagger and seduce--"You Remind Me," "Real Love," "Reminisce"--What's the 411? may not be Blige's finest work (that honor may go to its moody follow-up, My Life). But its ghetto-fied grooves dominated the radio then, and they still sound fierce today, even with a slew of lesser imitators attempting to do what the rough and ready Blige did so effortlessly back in the day. --Amy Linden ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars This started it all
This was the album that solidified Mary J. Blige as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul. From the time I first heard the intro to Reminisce I knew Mary would have a long lasting career and here we are now in 2003 and she's getting ready to drop another classic album on us. There is no other way to describe this album Mary defintitely let us know what the 411 was. Her classic rendition of Sweet Thing stood out her voice was sweet and soulful and like no other I've heard before. The jazzy Love No Limit saw her change up her voice for a more deeper sexier Mary.Of course there was Real Love & What's The 411 that displayed her hip hop side. Hit after hit each song on this album just had its own vibe and has stood the test of time to birth a new breed of R&B singers of today. So in my opinion because of the impact I feel this album had on R&B it deserves no less then 5 stars!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars What's the 411?
So yes, I am completely aware that it is now February - but hey, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control (like my computer needing to be completely reconfigured), I was forced to delay this project. A look back is going to be a monthly review series where I review one classic album in R&B. I wanted to begin with an album that I felt had a strong impact and that people could relate to. Something that takes me back to a specific point in my life and makes me smile. The first look back is with Mary J. Blige's "What's The 411".

"What's The 411" was released in 1992 and seriously put Mary J. Blige on the who's who list of R&B singers. She was signed to then power player Uptown Records and her career was guided by the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy. At the time - few artists were doing what Blige was doing, mixing Hip-Hop and R&B. It was innovative, it was funky and it sure as hell sounded good.

- Track Listing -

01. Leave A Message
02. Reminisce
03. Real Love
04. You Remind Me
05. Intro Talk
06. Sweet Thing
07. Love No Limit
08. I Don't Want To Do Anything [duet with K-Ci]
09. Slow Down
10. My Love
11. Changes I've Been Going Through
12. What's The 411?

"Real Love" was the single that introduced Blige to the music world and even today sounds as if it could fit in on the radio. That's part of the beauty of ��", it's that it's appeal and sound are a testament to the times but also manage to stand the test of time. "Real Love" established Blige as a soulful woman with a big voice and the momentum flowed right on through to "Reminisce". Notably "Reminisce" as well as "My Love" were written by the late Kenny "G-Love" Greene who was a member of the R&B group Intro and who was responsible for hits for a ton of hits that he never got enough recognition for. "Reminisce" is a mid-tempo ballad that showed a more subtle side to Blige's vocal abilities. Honestly, I don't think it would be right to say that Blige has a "pretty" voice - but it is a voice so steeped with emotion and passion for what she happens to be singing, that you can relate to her as a person and for that she has earned my respect and my allegiance to her as a fan of her work.

One of the songs that stands out to this day as being one of Blige's best is not even her own. "Sweet Thing", a remake of the Chaka Khan classic was a big hit for Blige. It became a quiet-storm staple and showed the mellowness of Blige's vocals - something that you really don't hear all of the time. Because she is a singer whose voice is so powerful, it's nice to see her pull back just a bit and show reserve and do justice to the track.

At the time of this album's release Blige and K-Ci (then of Jodeci fame, now of K-Ci and JoJo fame) were the 1st couple of R&B. An odd pairing yes, but when the two sang together - there was magic. That magic reflects on "I Don't Want To Do Anything" an emotive and powerful duet. Their voices are well suited to be together and the ballad was well produced by another Jodeci band member Devante Swing. The production is anything but subtle - but it manages to play second fiddle to the two powerhouse singers.

"My Love" is another star of ��" - it's a sweet mid-tempo track about lost love. It's another of the tracks that shows a more demure side of Blige and lets you see the depth of her talent. Perhaps the best track and my personal favorite track of ��" was the Diddy produced "Changes I've Been Going Through". No samples, no guest rappers and the song is quality. Musically, there is a lot going on - which is typical of a P.Diddy track, but more often than not - Diddy is able to make his first-rate music play second string to the vocals and he does that here. The only thing wrong with the song is that the background vocals (sung by Billy Lawrence) seem to at times be a bit stronger than Blige's vocals - but I'm sure that was done for a reason. To an average ear - you might even believe it was Blige, but a closer inspection of the liner notes will tell you otherwise.

- Final Thoughts -

"What's The 411" is one of those albums that I'm going to always have in my collection and dust off from time to time. If you've never had the opportunity to hear it or even own it - now is the time. Take a look at the foundation of a career that has spanned a decade, been through ups and downs and managed to persevere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soo Fire Man!!!!!!!
I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT THIS ALBUM STARTED IT ALLL FOREAL YO!!!!!!THIS WAS MARY'S 1ST ALBUM AND SHE CAME OFF BRILLIENT AND STILL DOING IT BIGG!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars This Album Is Timeless!
I can pop this cd in now and it still sounds like something that could be current. I fell in love with Mary's music back when she came out with "Real Love." Then came my other favorite songs: "You Remind Me," "Reminisce," "Love No Limit," remake of Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing," "My Love," and "I Don't Want To Do Anything ft. K-Ci of Jodeci,"===You gotta check out What's The 411? remix album with the single "You Don't Have To Worry" (I love this song); also, the remix album has all of the rappers on it such as Biggie, Heavy D. and C.L. Smooth.----She's definitely the queen of hip-hop/soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars My 411.
What bad thing can be said about this album. NOTHING BAD!!!!
Its been over 10 years and Mary remains true to her roots, GHETTO-FABULOUS and SOULFUL. Whats the 411 put out 5 hits that still sound so DAM good when I listen to this cd 1.remanisce 2.love no limit 3.you remind me 4.real love 5.sweet thang.

Remanisce is my favorite song of this album. This is I think Mary's best album, Since then Mary has been able to put out very good album's cuzz I have all of them, But this debut here her 1st still kick's ass. ... Read more


19. Babyface - A Collection of His Greatest Hits
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000051XVX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8488
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Screw Barry Manilow--it was Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds who really wrote the songs the whole world sings. From the late '80s to the mid-'90s, no single artist owned the R&B and pop charts with a tighter or more fluid grip than Babyface (and his then partners L.A. Reid and Darryl Simmons), and this Greatest Hits collection is proof of this singer-songwriter/producer's way with romance and rhythm. The catch is that this CD contains only the smashes Face kept for himself: a definitive collection of the songs he handed to others would constitute a box set. This CD covers his solo efforts, from the tangy "Whip Appeal" to the aching "Every Time I Close My Eyes" and the understated "When Will I See You" (arguably the first R&B acoustic power ballad). With two new cuts and a live version of theGrammy-winning "Change the World," these 14 tracks sum up an era in R&B when wearing one's heart on one's sleeve and reaching for the most nuanced of melodies was an act of creative revolution. Sure, some called his act corny, but, as this CD proves, Babyface made minor classics that sound just as gentle and persuasive today as they did back then. --Amy Linden ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Babyface shows everyone who's boss
Babyface: A Collection of His Greatest Hits is one of the best greatest hits collections I have bought. He includes great hits such as For The Cool In You, It's No Crime, Whip Appeal, When Can I See You Again, This Is For The Lover In You, Change The World, and How Come How Long. Plus many others. The album flows really well, and it is an album I can leave in my CD player, not having to switch tracks. This album proves that Babyface is one of the greatest performers/songwriters EVER. The album has songs from many different periods of R&B, and Babyface's music defined those. The new tracks on here are great, and Reason For Breathing has to be one of my favorite songs now. I recommend you buy this CD as soon as possible, because Babyface deserves much more respect than he gets for all his hard work and talent!

5-0 out of 5 stars Blessed by Babyface!
What more can I say. Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is one of the greatest singer, songwriter, and producers of all-time. This man as the "platinum" touch! I've been a fan of his ever since I heard "Two Occassions" by the Deale as a 14 year old ninth grader. Still today that song ranks as my all-time favorite love song. Babyface is truly a genius. He taught me about chivalry and how a real man should be. His greatest hits collection is simply just that "great"!

Almost all the songs are #1 hits. All of his hits are included, and he even adds two new songs that will delight true Babyface fans. "Reason For Breathing" and "When Men Grow Old" are classic Babyface (full of sensitivity, understanding and love), but like any true fan knows, that it's elevated artwork from a genius who only gets better with time. I loved "I Love You Babe", this is a song that gets into your spine, and was the highlight on his first album "Lovers", which also had my song "Chivalry". There's also my personal favorite "Where Will You Go"! This song is from his "Tender Lover" album. "Whip Appeal", and the gentleman's anthem "Soon As I Get Home" are featured. I love this album and every song on it, because Babyface teaches and reaches! He is what a call a real man who believes in chivalry, loves women, and puts God first in his life. This man does wonders with a guitar and piano. He is truly a songwriter that has touched many people's hearts through his music and through the songs he has written for others. Babyface has over 100 Billboard top ten hits to his name and has sold millions of albums, and has caused the artists he has wrote and produced for to sell hundreds of millions.

This is truly a classic album and basically the work of my favorite singer who has truly inspired my life and my heart! Every song is something to love and cherish, and I truly love and cherish this wonderful album by I man I consider my mentor. Every album is represented beautifully and he shows that he will go down in history as truly one of the best and most blessed! If you're a man and need to learn a little bit more about sensitivity, romance and love then look no further. If you're a woman who wants to realize what true love and a real man is all about then look no further. Babyface will bless your mind, heart and soul! God is Love!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars This man is a musical geinus!!!!!
This man is so talented there are no words to describe him. This man can sing, produce, arrange, write,and play instruments as well. This man has won grammys for songwriting, producing, and singing. This man is super-talented alongside with Michael Jackson and he produced and arranged the soundtracks for Waiting to Exhale and Boomerang which did rather well. Also, he had produced for Toni Baraxton, BoyzII Men, TLC, Whitney Houston and many others these people that he has produced for they all became smash hit power houses in the music industry. This man was with a group called the "Deele" w/ Antonio Reid was in with him and that group had major success with a lot of hit singles which are classics; The had hits such as: Two Occassions, Shoot Em Up Movies, Sweet November and he has sung duets that became smash hits such as: Love Makes Things Happen w/Pebbles, Give U My Heart w/ Toni Braxton and many others and has collaborated w/ Eric Clapton on the hit song "Change the World". This man is awesome he belongs in the hall of fame for songwriting and producing w/ Lionel Richie this man is amazing he has done it all he and his wife have produced hit shows and movies such as :"Soul Food" which he produced the movie soundtrack for "Soul Food" as well . Which all became hits this man is a musical geinus anyone who enjoyed Babyface during the 90's and 80's and if you enjoyed him with the "Deele" you would definitely enjoy this cd it is wonderful the whole cd is good every song on this cd is solid as a rock !!!!!

It contains: Whip Appeal, It's No Crime, The Cool In You, Ilove you babe my favorite Babyface song . If you like Babyface then buy his brother's album Kevon Edmonds 24/7 or any After 7 album you definitely would enjoy them another succesful group that this man had produced!!!!!

So I would definitely recommend anyone who likes Babyface to purchase this album you would definitely enjoy it!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Modern R'n'B
Babyface is the guy behind the biggest productions by black artists (and not only...see Madonna) of the last decade.
Funny thing: along with working with TLC, Toni Braxton, Pebbles, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight...and the list could go on and on, he also released his own records.
And always never topped his protegèes' success overseas.
While being successful in the US, he never really broke through here in Europe.
This compilation gives you access to the best of his own work.
There are real good tracks as the acoustic WHEN CAN I SEE YOU or the slow jams WHIP-APPEAL and NEVER KEEPING SECRETS.
IT'S NO CRIME is hard as much as I LOVE YOU BABY is jumpy but sweet.
EVERYTIME I CLOSE MY EYES has Mariah Carey backing up and Kenny G. saxing on it.
CHANGE THE WORLD is the version of the Eric Clapton's smash interpreted by the songwriter point of view.
There are more cute things to listen to in here.
And if you concentrate enough on the music, you will recognize the familiar sound that sold million of copies worldwide through other artists' vocals.

4-0 out of 5 stars Where's "A Bit Old-Fashioned"?
This is still worth the cash, though. Even the newer songs ("Reason for Breathing", "When Men Grow Old") stand out. But still buy every Babyface album there is, including his best one, For the Cool in You, which contains the song I mentioned in this review's title. ... Read more


20. Mama's Gun
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B00004YKUI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7047
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A true tour de force, Mama's Gun is that rare sophomore album that shows a maturing artist at her best. Erykah Badu's voice was always her main attraction--its unique sound has been compared to Billie Holiday and Chaka Khan. Here, it's her skill with that voice that shines. Badu shapes her instrument to suit her material (all of it written or cowritten by her). A full range is represented: On faster, danceable tracks like "Penitentiary Philosophy" and "Booty," she sounds gritty and funky. On softer, more introspective tracks, like "A.D. 2000" and the single "Bag Lady," she shows amazing restraint, letting her voice travel lightly over the notes, allowing the songs' emotions to guide her performance. The high point of the disc is Badu's duet with Stephen Marley, "In Love with You," easily the sweetest, truest love song of the year. That alone is reason enough to buy the disc--and you won't regret having done so. --Courtney Kemp ... Read more

Reviews (221)

5-0 out of 5 stars More Better Than Ever
Erykah has done it once again. Her studio sophomore but actual third album is a good or even better than her last two. She has really matured and has used "cleva" lyrics in her songs. I love that fact that all of her tracks run into her each other. I could care less if the track listing does not match what's on the cd. Be happy with what she has givin' you. Here's a breakdown:

1. Penitentiary Philosophy-A rock track that demonstrates Erykah's maturity with her music. At first, this may shock fans that are used to Erykah's jazz soundin' songs. After the first listen, you will be hooked

2. Didn't Cha Know-The more traditional Erykah sound is back at track 02. She sounds exceptional on this song. She wonders if she "made a wrong turn back there somewhere."

3. My Life-The beat is hot. Seems like many rap artists borrowed samples from her beats. Her life is not easy but she still manages to survive. There's "no turnin' back."

4. ... & On-The remix of On & On. I love this song. It's really a song for the haters of Erykah. "What good do your words do if they don't understand you. Don't go talkin' that $h*t, Badu, Badu".

5. Cleva-This song is one word that describes Erykah. The one phrase I love in this song is "my dress cost nothin' but seven dollars but I made it fly."

6. Hey Sugah-An interlude between tracks and a transition moment in her album or as an intro to track 07.

7. Booty-The beat is just amazing. I love her lyrics. All of them make me laugh everytime I hear them. "You got sugah on your peter but yo' ni**a thinks I'm sweeta, but I don't want him."

8. Kiss Me On My Neck (Hesi)-I can relate. "Use me, don't abuse me." I can stand that you gonna use me sometimes, but don't take advantage of it.

9. A.D. 2000-This song makes me sad sometimes. The content is strong here. She talks about delapadated buildings and that her name will be misstated. If didn't guess already, it's referring to the future.

10. Orange Moon-A lovely ballad. She is the moon and she reflects the light of her "sun". You get it, it's a pun! Well, if you don't then I ain't got nothin' to say to you.

11. In Love With You-A lovely ballad with Marley. I have to listen to this song everytime I listen to this cd.

12. Bag Lady-This isn't that overplayed radio remix. This is the mellow, laid back version that emphasizes on her words not the music. I love the fact that repeats the phrase "pack light". I think this song is sayin' don't carry extra package if you don't need to (stop talkin about past relationships and go on with your life). You may think that this song has a different meaning.

13. Time's A Wastin-This song speaks to me. There's always time wastin' if you don't take your time, as she says throughout the song. Don't rush yourself, otherwise you're wastin' time.

14. Green Eyes-WOW! A 10min song I would actually listen to. The first part sounds like an old time record of her sayin' "my eyes are green because I eat a lot of vegetables." If yall don't know what green eyes means, it means that you have hate or jealousy in your heart. Also, this song is the breakup song from the guy from Outkast. The song continues into two more beat changes. With each beat change, the words in the song change but the same message still comes across.

15. Bag Lady (Cheeba Sac Radio Edit)-This is the version that most of yall are familiar with. This version isn't available on the US Retail.

Erykah has three hit albums, that's rare. Even with Baduizm and Live being made in 1997, I still keep them in my cd player with Aaliyah. Erykah has real talent, and does not have a studio voice. She is authentic and not that buggle-gum stuff that others try to sing. The import is worth the extra money!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great sophomore...
This second album from Erykah Badu is a long way off her debut 'Baduism'. While her 1st album was a cool collection of simple but fun numbers, 'Mamas Gun' finds her vibin' like one of them 70s artists. The overall attitude & style here is more mature, and all the numbers are built on real instruments. The whole thing kinda sounds like a jammin' session, similar to D'Angelos 'Voodoo'.

The 1st half is cool, but the 2nd half has the best stuff. Like 'In Love With You', a duet with one of the Marley boys, and 'Times A Wasting', which rides some awesome orchestration. But all the songs, particularly side 2, are cool and memorable, at times hard & funky, sometimes chilled.

Theres a lot of great stuff here, a real nicely arranged album that salutes the masters of years gone by. It's a relief for me that there are still artists around who are trying to make real music. If you enjoy the old classic soul then checkout 'Mamas Gun'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Didn't Cha Know?
Artistry is lacking in the music industry. Knowledge, talent, and skillful writing and delivery is missing in the music industry. Music that contains lyrical depth and effective content is rare in the music industry. For this, I thank Erykah for wholely giving back to us what is missing, lacking and rare in today's music. Every song contains a message worthy of sharing, be it personal or socially consciousness. Fluidity is the key here. One song easily transitions into the next, while each individual piece refuses to sound exactly like any one before it. Masterful is "Mama's Gun" and masterful is mama's gun. As she explained it, rather than shooting with an actual gun, Mama (Erykah) will hit you with her lyrics.

5-0 out of 5 stars You need this CD!!
They just aren't making albums like this anymore. I would compare this to great albums of the past like "Songs in the Key of Life" or "What's Going on." They are albums that everyone needs to listen to because they vividly paint a picture of the world in one's mind. That is not to say that "Mama's Gun" will feature as much social consciousness as either of the aforementioned albums, only on "Penitentiary Philosophy" do we really get any type of message about the world's woes, but like both of these efforts it is a tour de force.
Ms. Badu is clever and playful at times on this album, and wise and wonderful at other times. "Cleva" finds her singing of how she can make the ordinary amazing because of her intrinsic artistic ability. "A.D. 2000" finds her pining for her memory not to be misplaced once she is gone, and sounds almost otherworldly. She coyly sings of the attention of another woman's man on the funky "Booty" and pokes fun at those that question her difficult-for-some-to-understand lyrical choices on the slow rap of ".... & on."
The wisdom comes out on gems like "Time's a Wastin", "My Life" and "Bag Lady," the ultimate self-empowerment anthem.
She explores a deep life-altering love on the light and jazzy "Orange Moon" and delivers the truest of love songs with Stephen Marley on "In Love With You." She traces the after-effects of a broken love affair in the three movements of "Green Eyes." Hmmm...that leaves "Didn't Cha Know and "Kiss Me On My Neck" which are equally amazing.
Basically, it's one of the best contemporary albums ever. I hate to even call it R&B or jazz or soul because it's a little of everything. It's just great. "Baduizm", "Live" and "Worldwide Underground" are also all well worth purchasing and listening to over and over, but this one is remaining as my favorite and the album that proves Erykah Badu will be around and have a captive audience as long as she continues to produce her art.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Honest Work Yet!
This cd is nothing like Baduizm or Baduizm Live! Erykah did more in the areas of production and playing instruments. "Green Eyes" is her opus, a true glimpse into lost love and redemption. I couldn't stop listening to her sing about how crazy love can make you feel. At this point, I have literally worn out my "Mama's Gun" cd and have had to replace it twice. Even though this cd is not as commercially successful as "Baduizm", Erykah Badu created something that is timeless. You can definitely hear the influences of Ms. Holliday and Chaka Khan. But Erykah takes it to a new level of raw honesty. ... Read more


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