As the highly anticipated release of his eleventh album, 11:11, draws near, R&B sensation Chris Brown recently dropped his second single, “Sensational,” much to the delight of his adoring fans.” Following the mid-tempo R&B vibes of the lead single “Summer Too Hot,” Brown links up with Davido and Lojay to craft a surprisingly infectious dancefloor bop.
Second Listen Sunday: The Deele, Eyes Of A Stranger
Before Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and L.A. Reid became in-demand producers, they were members of the R&B band, The Deele. The other members of the group were Carlos “Satin” Greene, Darnell “Dee” Bristol, Stanley “Stick” Burke, and Kevin “Kayo” Roberson. Reid and Edmonds were part of the group’s line-up for the group’s first three albums. Eyes of a Stranger, the final album Reid and Edmonds contributed to, is this week’s Second Listen Sunday selection.
The Deele had already made a name with his like “Body Talk” and “Sweet November” from the first two albums. However, after lacing Peebles and The Whispers with hits songs, the production talents of Babyface and LA increased the duo’s popularity, and other artists highly sought their production skills.
“Two Occasions,” which would go on to become a Quiet Storm staple. The song is a beautiful ballad that finds a man expressing his feelings for a woman. Surprisingly It is the only song on the album that features Babyface on lead vocals which he alternates between himself, Darnell Bristol, and Carlos “Satin” Greene. Kenny Nolan wrote the second single, “Shoot Em Up Movies,” a charming ballad about meeting a potential mate at a movie theater. “Let No Separate Us” is an excellent close to the ballads that open up the album.
The rest of the album is made for the dance floor. The majority of the song features synth sounds with superb arrangement and production. However, while I’m sure the production sounded great at the club in the late eighties, I was still waiting for something to catch my attention at the age of forty-one. Frankly, it seems like LA and Babyface were saving all the other good beats for other artists and just wanted to jam out with their bandmates.
The up-tempo material from Eyes of a Stranger didn’t age particularly well for my tastes. However, considering the very strong ballads on the project, I’ll allow it.
Final Grade: B
Eyes of a Stranger is available on all streaming platforms.
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