For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Slow Jam Saturday: Changing Faces, Keep It Right There
Cassandra Lucas and Charrisse Rose, better known as Changing Faces, started as backing vocalists for Sybil in the music industry. In 1994, the duo released their debut self-titled album, which featured two lead singles, “Stroke You Up” and “Foolin Around,” by a writer/producer who shall remain nameless. Instead, I want to focus on the album’s third single, “Keep It Right There,” for this week’s Slow Jam Saturday selection.
DeVanté Swing of Jodeci was the writer and producer of this song, and it features Swing’s signature production. Fresh off his success overseeing his group’s second album, Swing was a high in demand producer. 1995 saw him working with Usher, H-Town, and overseeing 99% of the production on the debut of female R&B group Sista, in which Missy Elliot was a member.
The R&B sound of the nineties was a special time, and Swing could honestly do no wrong. He was one of the top producers during the early nineties, however, his contributions rarely receive mention by the mainstream. “Keep It Right There” solidifies this as Cassandra opens up the song with a sultry vocal crooning:
“Anytime I need you baby you gave good love
And every time I turn around you’re all that I’m thinking of
Lately, you think our relation going too fast
Can we try it tonight now baby can we make it last”
Before Charrisse comes through on the chorus eloquently chanting
“Keep it right there keep it right there if you wanna please me
Keep it right there keep it right there and I’ll make it easy
Keep it right there keep it right there if you wanna please me
Keep it right there keep it right there and I’ll make it easy”.
The ladies’ voices sound wonderfully harmonious over the nearly 3 ½ minute slow jam. The one thing about DeVanté Swing’s production is that you always know his sound when you hear it. Honestly, the song could’ve easily found a place on Jodeci’s second or third album as well, but I’m ecstatic that Swing gave the song to a female artist instead. While Changing Faces fans may consider their collaborations with the nameless producer as signature songs, “Keep It Right There” is a personal favorite.
Final Grade: A –
“Keep It Right There” is available on all streaming platforms
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
One of the most talented men in indie music, Eric Roberson, kicked off his 30th-anniversary tour last night in Pittsburgh, so for this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to revisit Mr. Roberson’s third album, The Vault 1.5, which hit record stores in 2003. As Erro fans know, Roberson initially hit the scene with the lovely ballad “The Moon” while studying at Howard University. Roberson’s first record deal didn’t go as planned, but not one to just lay down, Roberson continued to build a name for himself by writing for the likes of 112 and Will Smith. Additionally, Roberson collaborated with Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Cam’ron.