In the fall of 2002, R&B music was a changing landscape. However, that didn’t stop The Prom Queen Of Soul, a.k.a., Mrs. Whitney Houston, from releasing her fifth album Just Whitney on December 10th, 2022. Just Whitney was Houston’s fifth studio album and the first after she renewed her contract with Arista for $100 million.
Slow Jam Saturday: Shanice, Saving Forever For You
Undoubtedly, one of the most popular shows of the nineties was FOX’S Beverly Hills, 90210. While the show lacked any melanin leads, the producers strove to showcase R&B music on occasion as the show grew in popularity. Artists such as Brian McKnight, Monica, Luther Vandross, and Jade made cameo appearances on the show. Fans will also remember Eric Benet & Tamia’s stunning “Spend My Life With You” performance during the show’s finale, which featured David Silver and Donna Martin’s long-awaited wedding.
R&B also played in the series two released soundtracks. The first soundtrack was released in 1992, during Season 3, and featured the likes of Color Me Badd, Jody Watley, and even Ms. Chaka Khan. Season 5’s soundtrack, released in 1994, highlighted the college years and went deeper into R&B with groups After 7 and Hi-Five contributing songs.
However, for this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, I wanted to give the elegant Shanice Wilson and her lush ballad “Saving Forever for You” some flowers. Written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster, the song was a fantastic choice for the songstress to showcase her coloratura soprano voice to a mainstream audience.
Before the single’s release, Shanice had already released two albums. However, while “I Love Your Smile” from her sophomore album found success on the pop charts, the follow-up singles were negated to the R&B charts.
Released on October 1st, 1992, as the soundtrack’s first single, the first time I recall hearing “Saving Forever for You” wasn’t on the radio. It was during the episode A Presumption of Innocence in a scene where the character of Niki attempts to teach Brandon how to dance, not knowing he has two left feet.
We all know that Diane Warren is one of the all-time great songwriters. Combine that with the heavenly arrangements of David Foster, and you have a sure-fire hit. Wilson was nineteen when the song was released and sang the lyrics beautifully. While she avoids the whistle register, I’ve felt she sang the vocals from the standpoint of a young woman experiencing love for the first time as she enters adulthood.
While some may feel the saccharine lyrics haven’t aged well, thirty-one years later, the song remains my favorite ballad in Shanice’s catalog.
Final Grade: A
“Saving Forever For You” from the Beverly Hills 90210 soundtrack is available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
The current lineup of legendary R&B trio features founding members Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, Sr., and Eric Nolan Grant, who joined the group in 1997. Tonight I get to cross an item off my musical bucket list as I’m attending the Washington D.C. stop of the group’s Last Stop on the Love Train tour.
No matter the music genre, every group has a standout member who is destined for solo stardom. Lionel Richie was already three years into a successful solo career when his former band, The Commodores, released its eleventh album, Nightshift.