It’s been six years since audiences experienced the rating-breaking three-part mini-series, The New Edition Story. I still remember my excitement walking into an advance screening of Part 1 on a cold January night. One of my favorite scenes occurs in this part when a young Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins are supporting a pre-teen Bobby Brown in a talent show. The local Boston-based group, The Untouchables, is performing a cover of Philly soul group Blue Magic’s “Spell” before Bobby takes the stage. After hearing another cover version of the song in Michael Bivin’s documentary, The Hustle of 617 Biv, I decided to feature it for Slow Jam Saturday.
Second Listen Sunday : H-Town, Fever For Da Flavor
R&B groups were all the rage in the nineties. Every week it seemed like a new group was releasing a new album with the music always being high quality. H-Town was one such group who burst onto the scene with their debut Fever for da Flavor. When the group’s debut album arrived in stores on April 15, 1993, its slow jams stood out the most. However, I want to focus on the album tracks before that.
Fever for da Flavor opens with an introduction before going into a dated party track, “Can’t fade da H,” that features the group calling out their homies and folks who worked on the album. Things pick up on “Treat U Right,” as this song has a fresh New Jack Swing-inspired flavor. Honestly, I could’ve seen this song as a single with a highly choreographed video.
Sadly though, the following three songs, “Fever for da Flavor,” “Sex Me,” and “H-Town Bounce,” come off as filler, which is a shame as lead singer Keven “Dino” Conner is a vast talent. Before an interlude closes out the first half of the album, H-Town gives fans one final up-tempo song.
“Keeping My Composure” is a bit stronger than the previous tracks, and the production appears to cater to East Coast Hip Hop fans. With a good feature from a rapper, the song may have got some radio play.
Thankfully H-Town comes through with the goods on the second half of their debut. “Lick U Up” kicks off the quadrant of blissful slow jams that occupy the album’s second half. Producer Bishop “Stick” Burrell handles production on this song along with rest of the album. With its self-explanatory title, even Daredevil knows what “Lick U Up” is about.
Next is the group’s signature song, “Knockin Da Boots,.” Don’t act like after hearing:
“Good lovin’, body rockin’ all night long, yeah
Makin’ love until we tire to the break of dawn
But oh, come on, come on and turn the lights down, and let me get on it, yeah
‘Cause when I do, just me and you, it’ll be so right
A-give me some good love
(Somebody rockin’ knockin’ da boots)
A-give me some good love
(Somebody rockin’ knockin’ da boots) Somebody rockin’, baby, ooh.”
That you don’t nod your head, it’s effortless to see why this song became one of the biggest R&B singles of 1993. “Knockin Da Boots” peaked at number three for seven weeks and topped the R&B chart for four weeks. H-Town gives their libidos a break on “Won’t U Come Back,” which is reminiscent of the work Jam & Lewis did with Alexander O’Neal. Even though lead singer Dino was only 18 or 19, he sang the song with the passion of a man well ahead of his years.
“Baby I Wanna” is the fourth single and final track on the album. Another sex-laced slow jam, the song showcases the writing talents of group member Shazam. In addition, Shazam shows out with a spoken word in opening lyrics before stepping aside to let his twin brother Dino take the song home with his crooning.
Similar to Jodeci’s debut, the strength of Fever for da Flavor is in the slow jams. The album’s closing four songs still hold up in 2022 and are the perfect soundtrack for a night of intimacy with a significant other.
Final Grade : B
Fever for da Flavor is available on all streaming platforms
More reviews to explorer
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