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 : XSCAPE, Softest Place On Earth
After a three-year hiatus, R&B quartet Xscape returned to the R&B scene with their third album, Traces of My Lipstick. Despite the angelic sound in their voices, the image on the first two albums was more Hip Hop. However, for the group’s third album, the cover saw the ladies in elegant red attire, tapping more into their sex appeal. For this week’s Slow Jam Saturday, the typical choice would be to go for “The Arms of the One Who Love You” or “My Little Secret.” However, I decided to go with the album’s third single and my favorite Xscape song, “Softest Place on Earth.”
R&B hitmaker JOE and his writing partner Joshua Thompson penned the elegant slow jam, which perfectly highlighted the singing talents of the group. While the song is about sensuality, it never becomes crass or vulgar. Instead of hearing the song as an adult in a relationship, it’s a song that a woman will play to show her mate just how she feels about it. Who wouldn’t want to be in an intimate moment with your special someone with these lyrics in the background?
Baby won’t you come inside,
I’ll take you on a fantasy ride.
Take a journey through my universe,
My love’s the softest place on earth.
You don’t have to pull the blinds,
Let the neighbors lose their minds.
Baby, you can be the first,
Inside the softest place on earth.
While Xscape would go on too long of a hiatus after this single, the song stood the test of time.
Final Grade: A
“Softest Place on Earth” from Traces of My Lipstick is available on all streaming platforms
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.