Thursday, September 17, 2020

Urbanesque: S/T (Promo) (Titanium Records, 2003)

Consisting of members from Canada, Texas, Chicago and New Jersey, Urbanesque came together with a common goal “to impact and change the course of the entertainment industry.” They met in Orlando – the home of cheesy pop – and were soon discovered by Veit Renn who was formally a producer for such horrors as *NSync, Backstreet Boys and Aaron Carter. Admittedly, this does not sound great but Renn’s efforts as “The Viking” were actually pretty darn good. Lacing the tracks with a splash of funk, a cup of hip hop and a pinch of R&B to support the group’s “raw flava’, they sounded more like En Vogue than *NSync. Describing them as ‘one of the best girl groups to come around in a while’, they were apparently one of the first acts (along with then 14-year old Sevyn Streeter) to be signed to Renn’s then newly launched Titanium Records label but despite generating a lot of industry buzz for their performances, not many people outside of Orlando would’ve heard of them. For four years the group performed all over Florida and during which lead singer Melissa Larochelle (then known as Honey B) was nominated Best New Artist and Best R&B Artist at the Orlando Music Awards. Soon they enjoyed a taste of wider fame when Macy Gray invited them to perform in Atlanta, GA. During the 4 years that they were together, they released three singles “Dive In”, “Truth Or Dare” and one 6-track EP “4 Fair Ladies” but their full album was seemingly never released. Though Renn’s heart was in R&B, it seems his label went nowhere and Orlando continues to be known for its infatuation with cheesy pop music. Standout tracks from the Urbaneque ladies include the brassy ”So What”, an ode to all those who have ever had a hard time fitting in, the seductive tease “Truth Or Dare” and the excellent old school sound of ”Dive In”. Most, if not all, of the tracks were co-written by lead singer Larochelle who along with Melissa Hart (now known as Live Hart) formed half of the group with Kimberly Samborski and Tymisha Harris. Both now have solo careers. Many thanks again to Stuaaart for the contribution!
 
Not Too Cool 4:34 
Mr. Mariachi 4:26 
Truth Or Dare 4:22 
Dive In (Nasty Beat Makers Mix) 4:20 
Set It Off 4:20 
So...What!? 3:34 
Hustle Pimp 4:13 
4 Fair Ladies 3:35 
So What (AC Mix) 3:23 
Dive In (Old School Mix) 4:30 
Dive In (Urban Radio) 4:11