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: Ralph Tresvant, “Sensitivity”
Throughout “Sensitivity” and his later work, Ralph Tresvant’s high tenor voice had evolved from his squeaky Michael Jackson manqué to a more polished and refined high tenor tone. As far as his voice is concerned, he was still a perfect fit for a romantic or good-guy ballad, and “Sensitivity” from the 1990’s worked like a charm and became a classic.
During the recording of the 1988 album Heart Break, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis collaborated with Tresvant’s group New Edition. As a result of using these two producers for his solo album, Ralph Tresvant has one of the most outstanding songs on the Ralph Tresvant CD. The team had also worked with Alexander O’Neal during his tenure, and “Sensitivity” is similar to his work but with a lighter touch and voice.
Having said that, this song is probably only able to work if the singer has a soft, appealing voice and a charismatic personality that will help this song shine. It is Tresvant’s deal here, and he does it exceptionally well. . In my opinion, the biggest accomplishment in Tresvant’s voice was the fact that he managed to convey that sensitivity could be viewed as a virtue. I like how he did not make it sound like a wimpy or wishy-washy statement, nor did he seem to be trying to get even more dates by using it as a ploy.
It was recorded at the renowned Flyte Time Studios in Minneapolis, where the song was recorded. Although much of the R&B of the early 1990s did not make it through the times all that well, “Sensitivity” manages to succeed mainly due to Tresvant’s vocals and Jam and Lewis’ classic R&B sense of melody and rhythm.
Final Grade: A
Sensitivity 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.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.