Thursday, November 13, 2014

Allure: Allure (Crave, 1997)

What do you get if you cross Mary J. Blige with Mariah Carey? This amazing, rather slept on quartet from 1997... They were the first and most notable act to be signed to the latter's now-defunct vanity label in the mid 90s and at a time when Mottola's choke hold on her was at its strongest they pretty much embodied everything she wanted to be as an artist herself rather than the ballgown crooner image he preferred. Blige's role was as a songwriter on 2 tracks You're Gonna Love Me and When You Need Someone while MC's contributions include Head Over
Heals, All Cried Out (as a producer) and the very saccharine Last Chance. From Carey's vocal trills to Blige's soulful smoothness, the quartet does a fine job of emulating the styles of both.They also hold their own independently as well as demonstrated on the Mtume Juicy Fruit sampling No Question and the hip-hop flavored Give You All I Got with Raekwon.
Mostly produced by Poke & Tone and their extended team Timothy Riley and George Pearson with the exception of 6 and 13 (produced by Carey, Walter Afanasieff and Cory Rooney), 12 (produced by Darrell "Delite" Allamby) and 14 (produced by Gordon Chambers.) A great smooth R&B album but sadly the group's time at Crave was rather short-lived. Naturally it was one of the first things to go following Carey's much-publicized divorce from Mottola and although she spoke earnestly about finding a new home for it she apparently never did...

1. Introduction
2. Anything You Want
3. You're Gonna Love Me
4. Head Over Heels (feat. Nas)
5. No Question (feat. LL Cool J)
6. All Cried Out (duet with 112)
7. The Story
8. Come Into My House
9. When You Need Someone
10. Give You All I Got (feat. Raekwon)
11. I'll Give You Anything
12. Wanna Get With You
13. Last Chance
14. Mama Said