Donell Jones had already made a name for himself, writing for the likes of Usher, Jade, and Madonna, when his debut album My Heart hit stores in the summer of 1996. Jones’s debut featured the hit singles “In The Hood,” “You Should Know,” and his cover of the timeless Stevie Wonder classic “Knocks Me Off My Feet.” Furthermore, two of the album tracks, the slow jams “No Interruptions” and “I Want You To Know,” are better songs than some folk’s entire discographies that entered the music game in the last twenty years.
Slow Jam Saturday: Dru Hill, Enchantment Passing Through
R&B quartet Dru Hill was basking in the success of their sophomore album Enter the Dru and preparing to embark on its supporting tour when they appeared on the concept album Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. Arriving in stores on March 23rd, 1999, the album was a concept project that contained songs from but predates the musical Aida, which hit Broadway in 2000.
Dru Hill’s collaboration to the project was “Enchantment Passing Through,” which featured music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. An adult contemporary ballad, the song features in the Broadway play in Act 1 when the male lead Radames and his love interest Aida share their dreams and regrets. In Act 2 of the play, the song receives a reprisal when the storyline gets a resolution. However, Dru Hill’s take on the song gives Sisqo & Jazz a chance to show off their vocals. Sisqo handles the first verse, while Jazz handles the second verse.
In reading the lyrics, it’s clear that Dru Hill had the type of vocal talent that they could sing anything. If Aida’s planned animated film adaptation hadn’t gotten stuck in development hell with his pending celebrity that would arrive a year later, Sisqo could have easily voiced the lead character.
“A few more days and we’ll be home in glory
Already they’ll be getting out the flags
With Memphis high motive dormitory
Still, I only see a lot of snags
For just because I’ve triumphed as a slaver
Brought beauty back to Egypt by the ton
Of this and every month, now I’m the flavor
And scheduled to do things I’ve never done
And why should I tell you this, a stranger
I just met A woman who in hours from now
I’ll certainly forget Anonymous and undemanding,
Enchantment passing through
My secrets and my confidence are safe enough with you. “
I don’t recall any promotional push for the song by Dru Hill when the song was initially released. However, when Sisqo’s massively successful solo debut Unleash the Dragon hit stores in November of 1999, many R&B fans heard it for the first time.
Final Grade: A-
“Enchantment Passing Through” is available on Unleash The Dragon & Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, both on streaming platforms.
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