One of the most extraordinary things about growing up in the nineties was experiencing the domination of R&B music on radio waves. While there were classic albums, quite a few albums fell under the radar, including My Heart Belongs To
You by Washington D.C. based R&B singer Frankie.
My Heart Belongs To You was released on September 2nd, 1997, on Epic Records via super producer Chucky Thompson’s imprint Chucklife. Thompson had already made a name for himself as an in-demand producer working with A- list R&B talent. Frankie was Thompson’s artist, and the two had a long working relationship, which should’ve led to more albums.
The debut single from Frankie’s album was “If I Had You.” The song which sampled Isaac Hayes “The Look Of Love” was a smooth melodic track that recalled a young Marvin Gaye. One of those tracks where you sip a smooth cognac and light a cigar while relaxing with your lady. I must also mention how cold the Jadakiss assisted remix of the song was.
Chucky Thompson produced the bulk of the album with writing assistance from Mary J. Blige, 112, and Faith Evans. “Dear Love” is a beautiful ballad with heartfelt lyrics that anyone who has ever been in a long-distance relationship can relate. Hardcore music fanatics might feel that the song is a 112 outtake, making sense as the members of 112 co-write this song and “Think Of You.”
The queen of Hip Hop, Soul, Ms. Mary J. Blige, provides her pen game to the ballad “All I Do,” and their voices blend well together. I would have to say one of the strongest songs, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.” The label would’ve been wise to push this one as single as it’s a lush slow jam. One of the songs that if I would’ve been dating my wife back in the 10th grade, I would’ve used as an anthem.
There are many rumors as to why My Heart Belongs To You didn’t blow up. I think the label didn’t promote Frankie right. Frankie’s style was more D’Angelo/Maxwell and less Usher, so he should’ve been pushed towards that crowd. It’s a shame that Frankie got lost in the R&B music shuffle, as he had one of the strongest R&B debuts of 1997.
Sadly physical copies of the album are out of print, and the album is unavailable to stream. To date, My Heart Belongs To You is Frankie’s only release, and there is very little information available on-line about him. Nevertheless, if you are a collector and can find a copy of My Heart Belongs To You, it’s well worth the purchase.
Final Grade: A –
Best Tracks: “If I Had You,” “Dear Love,” “Think of You,” and Have I Told You (I Love You)