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Various artists - '90s Soul Number 1's'

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Various artists - '90s Soul Number 1's'

Album cover © Universal Music Enterprises

The Bottom Line

If you have fond memories of the Electric Slide, Cross Colours, gumby haircuts, New Jack Swing, FUBU and all the other things that were symbolic of urban culture in the 1990s, then this CD is right up your alley.
90s Soul: Number 1's, is a collection of R&B songs that reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Some of the songs you'll definitely want to reacquaint yourself with, like old friends you haven't seen in a long while. Among those tracks are BLACKstreet's "No Diggity," which features both Dr. Dre and the now missing-in-action Queen Pen; and Brian McKnight's bona fide classic, "Anytime."
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Pros

  • Brian McKnight's "Anytime."
  • Montell Jordan's party starter "This is How We Do It."

Cons

  • Bobby Brown's tacky "Humpin' Around."
  • A forgettable tune by the long-forgotten Pebbles.

Description

  • 1990s Soul.
  • Retro R&B-Pop.
  • Forgotten hits.

Guide Review - Various artists - '90s Soul Number 1's'

On the flip side, in addition to the familiar neo-classics, there's also a few songs that probably didn't merit being unearthed, like the easily forgettable Pebbles track "Giving You the Benefit" and Bobby Brown's tacky "Humpin' Around."
There are two things about this compilation that are really interesting: one is the song selection: some songs were chosen despite there being arguably better-known alternatives.
For example, Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You," is included, even though the group's "End of the Road" was their first No. 1 hit in the '90s. Another example is how Dru Hill's "Never Make a Promise," (which sounds fairly corny by today's standards) made the album instead of the phenominal "Wild, Wild West," the 1999 No. 1 hit that Dru Hill recorded with rapper-actor Will Smith.
The second really interesting thing about the album is how unlike a lot of modern-day R&B, there's no strong hip-hop influence in many of these songs. Some of these tracks represent the last days before rap outdistanced R&B as urban America's favorite music genre. And because of that, 90s Soul: Number 1's serves as a fitting testimony to the end of an era in music.

90s Soul: Number 1's Tracklisting:

  1. "I Love Your Smile," Shanice
  2. "Stay," Jodeci
  3. "I'll Make Love To You," Boyz II Men
  4. "This Is How We Do It," Montell Jordan
  5. "No Diggity," BLACKStreet
  6. "Never Make A Promise," Dru Hill
  7. "Anytime," Brian McKnight
  8. "Humpin' Around," Bobby Brown
  9. "Giving You The Benefit," Pebbles
  10. "Do It To Me," Lionel Richie
  11. "Save The Best For Last," Vanessa Williams
  12. "Hit Me Off," New Edition
  13. "Don't Be Afraid," Aaron Hall
  14. "It Never Rains (In Southern California)," Tony! Toni! Tone!
  15. "Candy Rain," Soul For Real
  16. "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)," James Ingram, Quincy Jones, El DeBarge, Barry White, Al B! Sure
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