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: Full Force, “Your Place Or Mine”
In addition to offering scene-stealing moments in the first two House Party films, Hip Hop and R&B group Full Force made a name for themselves as in-demand producers. Initially, the group crafted tracks for artists such as UTFO, Doctor Ice, Samantha Fox, Patti LaBelle, The Force M.D.s, and of course, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Those records would lead to the group working with icon artists Bob Dylan, Patti LaBelle, and James Brown. When the resurgence of teen pop arrived in the late nineties, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and ‘N Sync were all blessed with the Full Force magic.
Full Force has ten albums in their discography, and I wanted to give them some flowers for this week’s Slow Jam Saturday. Naturally, I could’ve gone with “All In My Mind,” one of the group’s biggest hits from 1987’s Guess Who’s Comin’ to the Crib? Instead, I chose “Your Place Or Mine” from the group’s sixth album, 1992’s Don’t Sleep.
The group switched labels for this album and primarily handled the production once again. The song starts with a little bit of a jazzy vibe before a transition into that signature nineties R&B sound. The group vocals stay within their natural register, and the lyrics are relatable.
Ideally, the song is about a man who has been dating a lady for a while. He’s ready to take the relationship to the next level as long as she’s ready for that type of physical intimacy. Credit to the group for crafting a mature song that sets the mood that acknowledges it’s always a woman’s choice.
Although the music was quality as a group, Full Force never had the same success they did when producing for other artists. Nevertheless, “Your Place Or Mine” is one of many impressive slow jams in their catalog.
Final Grade: B+
“Your Place Or Mine” from Don’t Sleep 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.