One of the most extraordinary things about growing up in the nineties was the prevalence of male R&B groups. Special Generation is a group that never got their just due, despite having five lead singers and arriving on the scene under MC Hammer and Con Funk Shu member Felton Pilate.
Following the release of their 1990 debut, the group returned to the scene with 1992’s Butterflies. Special Generation’s sophomore release found the group working with LeVert members Marc Gordon and Gerald Levert. The group also worked with producer Steve Russel from the group Troop, whom they toured with previously.
The album opens up with a smooth Steve Russell production, “I Still Care,” which has a mellow groove that will fit right at home as the theme to a wine & cheese party. The genius of Russell’s production also comes through on the gospel Esque, “Lift Your Head (And Smile) and the ballads, “She’s Mine:” “You Can Tie Me Down,” and the album’s lead single “Butterflies.”
While Special Generation gets down on “Why You Wanna Talk About Me,” the group’s strong point is ballads and slow jams. Legendary producer Edwin Nicholas collaborates with Rude Boys member Joe Little III for the sentimental ballad “I Won’t Give Up,” which showcases the group’s five-part harmony.
In contrast, Gerald Levert laces the group with “Silly Me, Silly You,” “Who Makes The Choice,” and “The Right One,” showcasing his sultry writing style of grown man R&B. Special Generation even finds time to cover the Switch classic, “I Wanna Be Closer.”
Sadly the label created less than a million copies of Butterflies, and the album isn’t available to stream. However, if you can luck up and find a copy of the disc, you will not be disappointed.
Final Grade A