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Hot R&B Singles Review: 1992

Welcome back to another Hot R&B Singles Review. Let’s get started.

LINK TO 1992 HOT R&B SINGLES CHART

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.

BEST

End Of The Road, I Will Always Love You

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Remember The Time, Real Love

WORST

Tell Me What You Want Me To Do

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS

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.

Peace!!

SONG OF THE WEEK

I Got 5 On It-Luniz

6 thoughts on “Hot R&B Singles Review: 1992

  1. At this point, I’ve long stopped caring. Given that the man is dead and there’s been no real evidence of whether or not its’ true, it doesn’t matter anymore because MJ’s not alive and these two guys already came out with this too late. I already know Michael was not a saint, but given that he’s dead, I am no longer invested in any of these accusations. It’s pretty obvious the guy wasn’t right in the head, you don’t sleep with kids in your mansion and think it’s normal. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter anymore, most people already made up their minds he’s a pedophile and he’s been charged with this several times. Even then, we don’t know if these two guys are telling the truth, for all we know they could be lying. We’ll never know, so I’ve moved on. I’m personally more invested in R. Kelly’s case anyway considering there’s a whole lot of evidence to his disgusting actions.

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  2. As I said before, the hate for Tevin Campbell is overrated, but Tell Me What You Want Me To Do was nothing special. You know, some people in the reviewing really hate Keith Sweat for whatever reason and actually think he’s untalented. Those people are idiots and missed the point of Keith Sweat in the first place. His purpose isn’t to be the greatest R&B vocalist, his purpose was like that of Barry White in putting in a voice sexy enough for make out sessions. Jodeci are legends and have no bad songs, enough said. I personally don’t like Uhh Ahh. It’s honestly my least favorite Boyz II Men song. While I get it’s a song for makeouts, it’s still comes off as kind of cringy from the guys. R. Kelly’s stuff with Public Announcement was New Jack Swing with not much flavor to it and compared to his solo work, not the best. Still better than than PA’s biggest hit. My Love is a great relationship empowerment song. That said, it’s not among my favorite R&B classics. It’s still good, though. Come and Talk To Me is among Jodeci’s best songs. Remember The Time is a classic, but after several listens, I admit In The Closet sucks. Even though Lionel Richie’s popularity waned by the beginning of the 90’s, he still did well on the R&B charts throughout the decade. I still think the hatred the guy gets is overrated and overblown. Giving Him Something He Can Feel is just okay. The Best Things In Life Are Free is a great collab from two legends. Baby-Baby-Baby is my favorite TLC song far and away. End Of The Road was the biggest song of ’92 and well deserved. I actually enjoy Humpin’ Around and never really minded Bobby’s rapping. Not the best, but it’s at least better than most mumble rappers these days. I’ve seen Halston’s reviews, they’re overly exaggerated with some controversial opinions, but it’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it at the end of the day. Prince’s work in the 90’s admittably wasn’t as good as his 80’s classics, but Diamonds and Pearls is among his best of that decade. I really enjoy Al B. Sure. Right Now is a jam. If I Ever Fall In Love is pretty good if you ignore the acapella and minimal instrumental remix. I’m a sucker for harmonies and consider this an underrated classic. That said, Shai themselves were nothing special and were just another R&B group. I’m gonna be real with you, I Will Always Love You is not Whitney’s best song and is heavily overplayed. That said, it’s still a great song and no one can outdo Whitney’s belting once the final chorus kicks in. It’s like the musical equivalent of being hit by an atomic bomb, you can’t match that. Another great year in R&B.

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  3. I like your R&B series and agree with many of your opinions from the songs I know. For the sake of time, I’m just gonna comment on the songs I recognize. Tell Me What You Want Me To Do is not bad musically but I can’t stand Tevin Campbell’s singing especially when he really goes high at the end. Oh my God who thought that falsetto was a good idea. I watched the first part of the Leaving Neverland documentary when it first aired and it was very disturbing to say the least with the two men going into very intimate and graphic details of the sexual abuse they allegedly endured from MJ. I didn’t even want to watch the second part cause it was so disturbing. I agree with your take on it. I honestly don’t know what to believe considering how some of the accusers apparently admitted to making the allegations for the money along with his 2005 acquittal and the two boys in the documentary originally testifying in his defense. This is very complicated. As someone who’s mainly known about MJ after his death, I never thought much about the allegations that were made against him considering he’s dead and people had mainly pushed it into the background in honoring his musical legacy. I will say this regardless of whether he molested those kids we was no doubt a very weird and complicated person personally. I watched some interviews MJ gave regarding the allegations and sleeping with children and he admittedly comes across as creepy when he said there was no problem with sharing his bed with children outside of his family as a middle aged man. I get that he was mentally still a kid and wanted to have all the childhood stuff he never had growing up as a kid star and under an abusive and demanding father but there are moral boundaries. I would certainly never do that cause I’m aware of how weird this would look to other people. One family friend said recently that she loved MJ in his early years but once all the allegations and the sleepover stories started coming out she was done listening to his music. For me, I’ll still listen and enjoy his music cause it still good music on its own and no matter what happened we can all agree that a music world without MJ would be very different. The sad truth is that a lot of famous people have done bad things in their personal lives including the ones we hold up in high regards like John Lennon, Chuck Berry, and pretty much all rock stars so you have to draw the line somewhere. This isn’t going to get solved anytime soon so I’m just going to focus on people like R. Kelly who are still alive now to face the accusations made against them. And seeing him go crazy during that CBS interview was funny and just further proves his guilt. Anyways, Remember The Time is another great classic from MJ with him doing what he does best. In The Closet though is pretty weak for MJ standards and that whispering part he does after the chorus is really creepy and admittedly doesn’t hold up in the current situation. Diamonds And Pearls is another Prince classic and probably my favorite of his 90s hits. Love the atmosphere of the song and Prince does what he does best. I remember hearing this song being played on the 90s radio station the day he died in remembrance. Still sad what happened to both Prince and MJ in how they died. Save The Best For Last I think is a nice ballad. Agree that it’s not the greatest thing ever but l like the feel of it. I didn’t realize Vanessa Williams was once a singer since I’ve always known about her as an actress from shows like Desperate Housewives. With Lionel Richie, I don’t hate him as much as other people do. Sure he makes a lot of cheesy and boring ballads and of course there’s Hello. But he does have talent and there are songs from him both solo and with The Commodores that I do enjoy so I can’t hate on the guy. End Of The Road is a great R&B breakup song. All of the guys put a lot of emotion into this song and rightfully deserved being the biggest song of 1992. I also like the Whitney version of I Will Always Love You more than Dolly Parton’s original. The original was fine but nothing much to write home about. Whitney just blew it out of the water with her cover and it’s no wonder why this has become her signature song. Although the overplay and the way people use this song as a running gag gets pretty annoying after awhile. And while it’s not exactly the best song ever written, great songs don’t need deep lyrics especially when you have a powerhouse of a performance to back it up. And that ending chorus is legendary. I haven’t seen The Bodyguard movie though I’ve heard it wasn’t that great despite its massive box office and soundtrack success at the time. And it’s also a shame with what happened to Whitney Houston. I remember her death being all over the news. Looking forward to 1993!

    What do you think of the Leaving Neverland documentary and/or The Bodyguard movie of you’ve seen them?

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  4. I’m interested in seeing how people feel about the whole Michael Jackson/Leaving Neverland thing because both sides feel very strongly about this, whether they think he’s guilty or innocent.

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    1. OK, since you asked for my thoughts on the whole Leaving Neverland scenario…

      As someone who enjoys listening to Michael Jackson’s music, these past few weeks have been very… turbulent for me. When I first heard about the documentary, I legitimately thought about deleting his music from my playlist, especially with the “guilty” camp disowning him and applauding them, but the “innocent” camp proclaiming the accusations are all a pack of lies and that MJ never did molest them gave me some hope, and love me or hate me, I’m part of that camp. I mean, he was found not guilty on all 10 counts (including 4 minor ones) in 2005, and the FBI searched his house for 12 years and found no evidence that he was guilty of being a pedo. Plus, one of the men’s stories about inviting him to his home at Thanksgiving in 1987 when he was in Australia doing the Bad Tour at that time, and another man’s tale of taking him on a “honeymoon” to Euro Disney in 1988 when it didn’t even exist till 1992 both aren’t very convincing. I feel for any victims of sexual abuse, I really do, but I just can’t believe them. Plus, from what I’ve read, MJ was one of the kindest people the world had ever had, doing things like giving to charities and going to orphanages, and and while I do think that him being round children was a bit creepy (plus, that whispering bit in I Just Can’t Stop Loving You and In The Closet doesn’t help, though I’ve never heard the latter), there was never any evil intent from him (and in an interview, he said he’d rather slit his wrists than hurt a child). And this time, he’s dead, so he can’t defend himself. Just let the man rest in peace, guys. He needs it. Sorry if this makes me sound like a deluded MJ stan, but there you go. I really needed to get all that off my chest.

      Anyway, some really nice tracks on this chart: the aforementioned MJ, TLC, Prince, Whitney, Boyz II Men, En Vogue and Mary J Blige really deliver (aside from In The Closet).

      Liked by 1 person

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