Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday : Bell, Biv, Devoe, Welcome To My Heart

R&B trio Bell, Biv, Devoe just wrapped up a successful tour with their parent group New Edition and I’m sure they are already cooking up some dates for Summer 2023 as BBD. Since their debut breakthrough in 1990, the group has only released four albums of original material, despite their active touring schedule.

Under the radar in 2009, the group quietly released a two-song EP, “Welcome To My Heart.” Hitting digital retailers on Valentine’s Day, the songs find Ricky Bell crooning his heart out in a tale about a man who believes he is the right person for a woman who is afraid to commit. Ricky elegantly sings that he can give her the love and affection she needs. From a production standpoint, the song stays within the nineties singing style we’ve come to know Ricky for.

“You” was the other song on the EP, and it found the trio going in a route of grown man Hip Hop. Ronnie and Mike get a chance to showcase their rap-singing style. The production is suited for the 2009 era sound, and I firmly believe that if Drake, Trey Songz, or any other hot singer had released the songs, they would have been hits.

Bell Biv Devoe would continue teasing fans with songs until they released 2017’s little heard Three Stripes. I know I’m not the only NE4Lifer who remembers “Operator” (a modern-day version of “Mr. Telephone Man), “Hello,” and “With Me.” These songs and “Welcome To My Heart” and “You,” would have made for a solid five-song EP.  

However, given the lukewarm response from the public and radio to their later released material and industry changes, I fully understand why BBD is content with being a nostalgia act.

Final Grade: B

“Welcome To My Heart” is available on all streaming platforms.


Movie Clappers

More reviews to explorer

Second Listen Sunday: Gregory Hines

It is common for actors to explore their musical talents, as they complement each other like movies and popcorn. Growing up in the eighties, I recall Eddie Murphy, Don Johnson, and Philip Michal Thomas releasing projects. This week’s Second Listen Sunday pick is Gregory Hines, the late thespian and tap-dancing icon who released a self-titled album

Slow Jam Saturday : Blue Magic, Spell

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.

Slow Jam Saturday : Raphael Saadiq, Scream

R&B fans were elated this past summer when R&B legend Raphael Saadiq announced he had reunited with Tony! Toni! Toné! for a fall tour. The tour kicked off this past Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama, with twenty-five planned stops. I plan on attending the Oxon Hill, MD, stop this coming Monday.