Welcome back to another Hot R&B Singles Review. Let’s get started.
Tell Me What You Want Me To Do-Tevin Campbell: We start off with a song that made it onto my Worst of ’92 list, a decision I still stand by because Tell Me What You Want Me To Do sucks. Overblown production that hasn’t aged well, cliched lyrics of trying to do right with someone, Tevin Campbell still dong a poor Michael Jackson impersonation, and one of the shrillest falsettos I’ve ever heard. It’s one of his worst songs to date and I don’t want to hear it again. It gets a 1/5.
Keep It Comin’-Keith Sweat: Moving on from that last song, we have Keith Sweat with Keep It Coming and, yeah, this is much better. The heavier new jack swing beat that’s guaranteed to keep the party going along with a smooth vocal performance from Keith Sweat himself and backing vocals from Joe Public. This song is a banger and I give it a 4/5.
Stay-Jodeci: This is another great song from Jodeci. The vocals are on-point and the production is smooth as hell. These dudes were legit. I give it a 5/5.
Uhh Ahh-Boyz II Men: From one great vocal group to another, Boyz II Men show up for Uhh Ahh. It’s clearly a sex song from the way the production sounds to the lower register used for the vocals. Honestly, it’s not one of my favorite songs from the group, but it’s still solid. They’ve made better songs, though. I give it a 3.5/5.
Baby Hold On To Me-Gerald Levert & Eddie Levert: I think this song is fine. I’m not too crazy about the production, but I do like the singing from both Gerald and Eddie Levert. It’s perfectly serviceable, but it’s not anything I would revisit. I give it a 3/5.
Remember The Time-Michael Jackson: Before I talk about this song, I might as well get this out the way and address the elephant in the room. So HBO aired a documentary a couple of weeks ago called Leaving Neverland. It was about these two dudes who claim that Michael Jackson molested them when they were kids and ever since it came out, people’s feelings on Michael has been, well, complicated and his legacy has been questioned. I didn’t want to comment on this and I still don’t because as much as I’m for taking down pedophiles, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that Michael is one. I’m someone who likes to wait until all the facts are out before jumping to a conclusion. That’s the same reason I never bought into the Trump/Russia collusion thing and why I rarely talked about the Jussie Smollett situation. Even if Michael did do it, what then? Nothing can be done against him since he’s dead. In terms of music? I’ve seen some people who decided not to listen to his songs anymore and that’s their choice. I, on the other hand, can’t do that. Too much history for me there. If we decided to stop consuming media from someone because of what they did in their personal life, a lot of motherfuckers would be canceled. Just saying. This tangent has gone on long enough, let me get back to Remember The Time. It’s a classic. I once said that Michael knew how to adapt to the ever-changing music scene and this is no different. This new jack swing production fits Michael like a glove and he makes it work. It also helps that Teddy Riley contributed to the production. In the song, he’s talking to a woman about all the good times that they shared with one another. Funny enough, the music video shows him stealing Eddie Murphy’s girlfriend in ancient Egypt. Anyways, I give this song a 5/5.
Diamonds And Pearls-Prince & The New Power Generation: Well, that was loaded. Let’s move on to a legend who’s less controversial, Prince. At this time, Prince put out music sharing the spotlight with his backing band The New Power Generation and one of the songs they released that became a hit was Diamonds And Pearls. It’s an awesome love ballad that showcases Prince at his best. The musicianship on display is immaculate with shimmering synths, slamming drums, and some kickass guitar work. It’s a great song and I give it a perfect 5/5.
Save The Best For Last-Vanessa Williams: I’m not too crazy about Vanessa Williams as an artist and this number one hit Save The Best For Last shows why. She’s a good enough singer, but this song is a pretty typical ballad of the times. Not bad, but not anything great either. I give it a 3/5.
Here I Go Again-Glenn Jones: The most I know about Glenn Jones is that he started off as a gospel singer before transitioning into R&B and achieving moderate success in the 80s. His big hit would be Here I Go Again and it’s alright. The singing is good, but there’s nothing in this song that I wouldn’t get from another song nor does it make me want to listen to it again. I also give this one a 3/5.
Don’t Be Afraid-Aaron Hall: So this song was on the soundtrack to Juice, a film starring Tupac in his best role to date. Don’t Be Afraid by Aaron Hall is a good enough song with a banging beat and some good singing. That’s all I have to say about it. I give it a 4/5.
All Woman-Lisa Stansfield: It’s okay. Just another ballad of the times. I give it a 3/5.
My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)-En Vogue: Here’s a song that many people know En Vogue for and it’s their best hit to date, My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It). It’s a kickass kiss-off to someone getting rejected, backed up by a guitar riff straight from The Big Payback. The sassiness in the performances really shine through to give the song more of a punch. Great song from a great group. I give it a 5/5.
Come And Talk To Me-Jodeci: This song is awesome. Jodeci has done it again with Come And Talk To Me. I like the production, it bumps and has that pop crossover appeal at the same time. The singing is great, K.C. kills it on the lead vocals and the backing vocals are great as well. If you have never heard this song, you’re missing out. I give it a perfect 5/5.
Honey Love-R. Kelly & Public Announcement: Earlier this month, R. Kelly did an interview with Gayle King for CBS This Morning addressing all of the allegations against him. Unsurprisingly, he denies them all and he loses his shit during the interview. He didn’t exactly help himself in this case. Moving away from his personal life, Honey Love is one of R. Kelly’s earliest singles and it’s a collaboration with Public Announcement. It’s an alright sex song with some good production and even though Public Announcement are pretty much background singers, R. Kelly is still a good singer. It is possible to say that an awful human being is talented. Still, that baggage prevents me from wanting to listen to this song again because of some unfortunate implications, but even without that, it’s an alright song. I give it a 3/5.
In The Closet-Michael Jackson: I’m going to be honest with you, In The Closet is one of the few Michael Jackson songs that I don’t like. It just never clicked with me. The production is a mess of sound effects and it doesn’t really compliment Michael vocally, who sounds fine. Both he and Teddy Riley were clearly on the off days. No, the song has nothing to do with sexual orientation, but keeping a secret between two lovers and it’s not interesting at all. It’s no I Can’t Stop Loving You, but it’s easily one of the weaker Michael Jackson songs to me. I give it a 1.5/5.
Do It To Me-Lionel Richie: People still wanted to listen to Lionel Richie even in the 90s? Okay. This is Do It To Me and it’s pretty meh overall. Not the worst that he’s ever made, but I have no reason to listen to it again. I give it a 2/5.
The Best Things In Life Are Free-Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson: At this point, house music was pretty much a big thing and it’s spread to other genres of music, including R&B. This brings us to The Best Things In Life Are Free, a collaboration between Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross and it’s great. I dig the house production and how it sounds like a 90s version of a disco track. Janet is perfect for this sound and Luther Vandross sounds pretty good on here as well. Those two have some pretty solid chemistry for this song. So yeah. I like this. I give it a perfect 5/5.
You Remind Me-Mary J. Blige: The debut single from the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul herself Mary J. Blige. You Remind Me would be the beginning of a very fruitful career and it’s cool. I like the production fine enough and the singing is pretty good. It’s not her best material, but it’s definitely an appetizer before the true classics that are sure to come from this lady. I give it a 3.5/5.
Give Him Something He Can Feel-En Vogue: Next is Give Him Something He Can Feel, which is En Vogue doing a cover to an Aretha Franklin song called Something He Can Feel. It’s okay. The production is fine and the singing pretty good. This is a perfectly serviceable karaoke song. It’s a 3/5 for me.
Baby-Baby-Baby-TLC: Y’all already know I’m a big TLC fan. I’ve sung their praises numerous times on this site and I finally get to talk about one of my favorite songs from them, Baby-Baby-Baby. I fucking love this song. The production slaps, especially with those keys and guitars complimenting that banging beat. T-Boz and Chilli both kill it, especially Chilli. It is disappointing that Left Eye doesn’t have a verse, but I’m fine with that. Everything in the song works so well that I can overlook that and just enjoy what’s there. Great song and one of many classics from TLC. I give it a perfect 5/5. I love it.
End Of The Road-Boyz II Men: This was the number one song of 1992 according to Billboard. This spent 13 weeks at the top of the Hot 100, setting a new record that would eventually be broken by a song I’ll talk about much later. So let’s talk about End Of The Road by Boyz II Men, the ultimate breakup song of the 90s and one of the best the decade had to offer. The vocals on this song are great. The real MVP of the song is Michael McCary, the bass singer, whose interlude was perfect for this song. Pop music needs more bass singers these days. I give End Of The Road a perfect 5/5.
Humpin’ Around-Bobby Brown: Next up is Bobby Brown with Humpin’ Around. A friend of mine talked about his issues with this song in one of his lists and while I don’t hate it as much as he does, I have a hard time disagreeing because this is not a good song. The production is a cluttering nightmare of synths and percussion. The content of the song is Bobby complaining about his girlfriend accusing him of cheating when he could’ve either proclaim his innocence or admit that he did it. Way to not be a douchebag, Bobby. Also, this song is another example of why Bobby Brown should not rap at all because he sucks at it. So yeah. I have no love for this song. I give it a 1/5.
Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)-R. Kelly & Public Announcement: Another R. Kelly and Public Announcement single and it kinda sucks. It’s basically an inferior version of their previous song with cheaper production and worse singing. I give it a 1/5.
Alone With You-Tevin Campbell: It has slightly better production and Tevin Campbell’s singing is much better here, but it’s still a generic teenybopper song that I won’t revisit. It’s a 2/5.
Real Love-Mary J. Blige: Now that’s what I’m talking about. Real Love is the song that made Mary J. Blige official and it’s amazing. The beat is the perfect blend of hip-hop and R&B that fits at home in the 90s, but also sounds timeless at the same time. Mary J. Blige sounds great as she’s looking for that person who will love her for the rest of her life. It’s a great jam and I would give it a perfect 5/5. Awesome song.
Right Now-Al B. Sure: A really good slow jam with some dated, yet solid production and Al B. Sure sounds good, too. Not the best song ever made, but it’s good enough. I give it a 4/5.
Sweet November-Troop: Meh. It’s a 2/5.
Ain’t Nobody Like You-Miki Howard: It’s not one of my favorite songs, but it’s alright. The production is a bit thin for my tastes, but the singing is pretty good. I don’t mind this. I give this song a 3/5.
Games-Chuckii Booker: You all remember Mark Morrison’s Return Of The Mack? Of course you do, because that song is too awesome to be forgotten. Anyways, here’s the song it sampled, Games by Chuckii Booker, which, funny enough, is about being betrayed by his girlfriend. It’s a fine enough song with decent production and singing. I still think Return Of The Mack is superior, but this song ain’t bad, either. I give it a 3/5.
If I Ever Fall In Love-Shai: I don’t have much to say about this particular song. It’s just okay. It has nice singing, but that’s about it. I give it a 3/5.
I Will Always Love You-Whitney Houston: And we end on what would end up being the number one of 1993 overall. For the soundtrack for The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston (who also starred in the film) did a cover to Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You. Yeah, some people don’t realize that Whitney Houston’s biggest hit was a cover. Even though I do like the original Dolly Parton cover, Whitney took this song to a whole new level and she knocks it out of the park. I like how both the singing and the production both builds as the the song progresses until you reach that final chorus, which hits you like a tidal wave. Is it the best-written song? No. When you look at the writing, it’s just a basic love song at the end of the day. But Whitney sells that sentiment and her performance is godly, making for one of the best songs of the decade. I give it a 5/5.
End Of The Road, I Will Always Love You
Remember The Time, Real Love
Tell Me What You Want Me To Do
Humpin’ Around, Slow Jam (Hey Mr. DJ)
And those were the number one songs on the Hot R&B Singles chart of 1992. Next time, we’ll be looking at the number one Hot R&B Singles of 1993.
SONG OF THE WEEK
I Got 5 On It-Luniz