As the highly anticipated release of his eleventh album, 11:11, draws near, R&B sensation Chris Brown recently dropped his second single, “Sensational,” much to the delight of his adoring fans.” Following the mid-tempo R&B vibes of the lead single “Summer Too Hot,” Brown links up with Davido and Lojay to craft a surprisingly infectious dancefloor bop.
Slow Jam Saturday : New Edition, Helplessly In Love
R&B group New Edition was at crossroads in the summer of 1987. The group’s fourth album, Under the Blue Moon, and their only one as a quartet, had only achieved gold sales. Those numbers were very different from the platinum sales of their previous two albums.
Nevertheless, the group was one of their label’s most popular acts. Label head Jheryl Busby had big plans for the group and would bring in producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and vocalist Johnny Gill to give the group a mature sound.
However, before working with Gill, NE built chemistry with Jam & Lewis for the lovely ballad. “Helplessly In Love.” Originally appearing on the soundtrack to 1987’s Dragnet, the song production was textbook Jam & Lewis, which perfectly accompanied the maturing tenors of group members Ralph Tresvant and Ricky Bell.
The double R connection sounds excellent together as they croon:
“Never knew the closing of a door
Could open up a heart
Since the day we met I needed you
In my life
To do and say the things that I
Needed to feel and hear
Helplessly in love
Don’t know what to do, I’m
Helplessly in love
And the love in my heart
Is for you.”
A long-time favorite among NE fans, “Helplessly in Love” is one song that I wish they would add back to their concert setlist. While I was fortunate enough to hear Ralph perform it live during his stint with Heads of State (a side project with NE members Johnny Gill and Bobby Brown), I would love to hear it performed with Ricky Bell. “Helplessly in Love” was a perfect preview of the chemistry that Jam & Lewis would build with the New Edition collection.
Final Grade: A
“Helplessly in Love” is available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
Following his 2018 Luther Vandross cover album, Season 2 American Idol winner Ruben Studdard returns to the original material for his eighth album, The Way I Remember It.
Yesterday, I highlighted the R&B trio Jade for Slow Jam Saturday, and for this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I wanted to show