Friday, September 28, 2018

Blaque: Blaque Out (Promo CDr) (Trackmasters/Columbia, 2001)

A first rate effort from Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez former group and sadly shelved by the label Columbia in 2001. I don't know the exact reason but the lead single "Can't Get It Back" (produced by Salaam Remi) barely scraped Billboard's Top 100 Hip Hop/R&B chart. Sadly UK R&B group Mis-Teeq's version (recorded the following year) was probably more well known. Featuring production from Remi, Dallas Austin, Full Force and Jasper Cameron, it had slightly more street cred than their first
album but still poppy enough to appeal to a mainstream audience with group member Natina Reed later commenting that it was the group's 'strongest' album and her 'personal favorite.' After a decade of phony postings on Discogs and fan-made bootlegs, it finally got a release in 2011 after the group's former label Matthew Knowles' Music World Entertainment brought the rights to it and released it digitally in 2007. Sadly it was missing a few good tracks, including the Salam Remi-original of "Can't Get It Back" and  the Dallas Austin-produced "Girls Like That" and soon was removed altogether. It was later reintroduced in 2011 with a further track missing. Sadly this was not to be their last abandoned project when they had the misfortune of being mixed up with the hopeless Elektra Records in the early 2000s. Their third album Torch is still yet to see the light of day but with the group members finally securing the masters to it from previous owner Knowles (who never did anything with it), there is still hope yet...

Blaque Out 3:28
Can't Get It Back 4:20
Know What's Up 4:12
Thinkin' About It 3:58
Should I 3:15
Temperature 5:04
Interlude 0:38
Bliss 3:32
I Wanna Be The One 4:34
Questions 4:39
Girls Like That 3:50
This Ain't Us 4:37
Outro 1:07
808 Remix (Bonus) 3:54
As If (Radio Version) 3:46

Once again, the version of Blaque Out above is an original Columbia CDr test pressing obtained by my good friend Stuaaart back in August. It was never released in Japan and any other purported physical copies you see on Discogs are simply fan-made bootlegs, most likely compiled from lossy (mp3) files that have been in circulation online for quite a long time.