Forever My Lady by Jodeci (1991)

11Apr11

This was my TAPE! I used to listen to this album over and over. R&B was going through a really solid phase in the early 90s…a lot of groups like Jodeci were trying to recreate the magic of Motown. That goal was never met of course, but we did get some awesome songs and albums as a result. Forever My Lady introduced Jodeci to the world as a kind of “super group”, even though none of the members had established solo careers yet. K-Ci & JoJo went on to experience some success later, but even at the time I remember that everybody was pretty consumed with who Jodeci’s members were. They were like a more seductive version of Boyz II Men…lyrics clearly focused on sex and relationships, less dancing, more shirts off, etc. And this album became my first modern R&B experience.

I listened to a ton of Motown growing up. My dad was a fan of bands like the Temptations and Four Tops, so from early on I had a well-trained ear when it came to R&B music. Forever My Lady proved from the start that Jodeci were no slouches…these guys can sing, and if they were a few years older they no doubt would have been right at the epicenter of Motown. (picture JoJo doing the shoo-bee-doo/slide-away moves haha) Later albums from these guys got a little more loose with chatter between songs, mixing in some rap, etc. But this record was a polished and focused R&B effort. And back then, the record labels would front-load albums with the hits, so usually you only needed to listen to the first few tracks to hear the highlights. That’s the case here…it starts off strong with ‘Stay’, a.k.a. middle school slow dance anthem of the decade. Jodeci’s all-time greatest song ‘Come and Talk to Me’ is up next…it’s clean, it’s direct, and if you don’t like this song then you have no pulse! There was a solid remix out there too. Title track ‘Forever My Lady’ keeps it moving, right into album backbone tracks ‘I’m Still Waiting’ and ‘U&I’. Things fell apart a little bit on the B-side, where the boys tried to get a little creative and turn things up a notch. None of those tracks are memorable, so for the purposes of evaluating this album’s legacy I’ll just stick to Side A.

Forever My Lady is probably only meaningful to those of us who were teens in the 90s. I wouldn’t hate on older/younger folks who don’t get it, because 90s R&B was just as quirky as everything else that was going on in that identity-crisis decade. But if you’ve got a soft spot anywhere for this genre, check it out! Just don’t drift too far out…stop after like 6 songs.

music turtle recommends: FIRE UP SIDE A, THEN HIT REWIND!

What do you think about this album? Comment below

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