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 : Smokey Robinson, If We Don’t Have Each Other
Following the announcement of Smokey Robinson’s 24th album, Gasms, the R&B legend has become a trending topic in recent weeks. When song titles such as “How You Make Me Feel,” “I Wanna Know Your Body,” “Roll Around,” and the two eyebrow raisers, “You Fill Me Up” and “I Fit in There.” were revealed their was a collective mindset of what is Smokey smoking?
While the song titles don’t necessarily resonate with listeners, fans can take solace that the album’s first single and this week’s Slow Jam Saturday pick, “If We Don’t Have Each Other,” is textbook Smokey. Robinson, the song’s writer, and producer, recently stated, “I chose this song as the first single of my upcoming album because it’s different musically and has a slide dance feeling to it… which is different from what I’ve ever done before. Additionally, it has a current rhythm that I love, and I hope everyone else does.
Considering how legendary Robinson’s pen game is, the lyrics might come across as mundane to some. Watching the song’s lyrics video, I understand what he’s trying to convey. In a nutshell, Robinson hopes to validate how love can be a powerful force in life. The song explores the idea that without the other person, there is nothing. The lyrics highlight how two people fit together perfectly and that life would not be the same without each other. The chorus emphasizes how not much has meaning without each other and suggests that love is the most meaningful thing in life. The song is about how two people make each other feel complete and how love is more powerful than anything else.
Even though Robinson is 82 years old, he manages to do more with this song with his heartfelt lines over smooth, breezy guitar work than other so-called R&B singers have done with their entire catalog. Harmless and to the point, “If We Don’t Have Each Other” does have me eager to see what Smokey has cooked up with Gasmas.
“If We Don’t Have Each Other” is available on all streaming platforms, while Gasms is set for release on April 28th.
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.