Public Announcement, All Work No Play
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday: Public Announcement, All Work No Play

Numerous R&B groups have fallen into obscurity following the departure of the lead singer. One such group was Public Announcement which collaborated with a disgraced R&B singer for a 1992 project. Sadly though, due to label politics and possibly ego, the group’s billing and promotion made it seem that Public Announcement was back up members instead of a cohesive unit.

Public Announcement had other plans, in any case. Feloney Davis, Glenn Wright, and Euclid Gray, all Chicago natives, joined Public Announcement in 1996 as new members following a few line-up changes due to departures, along with original member Earl Robinson of the group. With Davis taking over as the lead singer, the group was able to sign a record deal with A&M Records, and they released their second album.

Arriving in stores on March 24th, 1998, the group’s second album was titled All Work, No Play. Led by the single “Body Bumpin (Yippie-Yi-Yo),” the song was a sensual slow jam that showcased the vocal chops of Davis. I was in 10th grade when the song came out, and it was always one I would attempt to use during my flirtatious teen days. “It’s About Time” was the second single and falls into the playbook of “I’m better than your man.” Davis again provides a solid vocal, and I’m sure we all remember the video and its domestic abuse storyline. 

I don’t recall the third single from the album. However the album tracks cover the usual topics per the nineties R&B norm. We have an inspirational song, “Children Hold On (To Your Dreams),” the R&B cover (Con Funk Shun’s “Straight From The Heart”), and of course, missing my lady (“All Work, No Play” and ” Alone,” and “Lonely” ). Davis leads most of the songs in addition to writing them sans “Straight From The Heart.”

All Work, No Play is slow jam and ballad-heavy. Therefore two up-tempo tracks, “Why You Not Trustin Me ” and D.O.G. In Me, featuring Troutman & Shaq, haven’t aged well. Thankfully Y To The Yippie (Step On) sounds a bit. And while Feloney Davis is a strong songwriter, I can’t help but wish the group had one song from the heavyweights at the time to give them an extra push.

Nevertheless, All Work, No Play is a solid sophomore effort from a group that refused to let one man stop the show.

Final Grade: B

All Work, No Play is available on all streaming platforms. 

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