Ralph Tresvant, "Sensitivity"
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

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

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