There was a singer who shall remain nameless set the tone for the nineties slow jams. However as nineties R&B fans know there were tons of singers who provided quality albums and tracks when it came to making a playlist via audiocassette. Lincoln Browder, better known as Link, was one of the singers.
Second Listen Sunday : B2K, Santa Hooked Me Up
In the year 2002, B2K were the dominant R&B boy band. Their debut achieved gold status and the concerts stayed sold out. Prior to releasing their third album Pandemonium in December of that year, label execs had the bright idea to release a Christmas album. Arriving in stores on October 29, 2002, Santa Hooked Me Up is clearly a cash grab for the tween crowd of the time.
“Why Did You Leave Me On Christmas” was the first and only single from the album. Written by IMX members Marques Houston, Jerome Jones and Kelton Keese the song is a decent slow jam with Omarion’s lead vocal expressing disdain over losing his woman during the holiday season. IMX also lends their writing talents to the albums opening number and titular track. I get the vibe they were going for on the song, but I did not care for it when I was 21 and at age 40 it sound when even worse.
Now there is an argument that I was not in the demographic for the song but the other up-tempo track “Sexy Boy Christmas” feat. Tg4 is not any better. Furthermore, the group’s cover of Christmas classics “Jingle Bells”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” are laughable. In my opinion, the only reason the songs are on this album was to appease the parents of B2K fans. Outside of a few exceptions, I have always preferred B2K’s slower material. Therefore, it is no secret that is the album’s strongest material.
“Rain and Snow”, “Everyone’s Home For Christmas” and “My First Christmas” more than make up for the album’s weaker material. Santa Hooked Me Up closes out with a mediocre cover of “Santa Baby” by Jhené Aiko. Santa Hooked Me Up. Christmas albums can usually go one of two ways. They can either give an artist a chance to highlight their ability to sing anything as Alexander O’Neal did with 1988’s classic My Gift to You or they come off as nothing more than a stocking stuffer for fans of a hot new artist.
Santa Hooked Me Up falls into the latter category, as nothing on here is particularly memorable or worth adding to your Christmas playlist.
Final Grade: C
Santa Hooked Me Up is available on all streaming platforms
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