Boyz II Men Full Circle Review

Album. Released 29 May 2002.  

BBC Review

Our favourite V - neck woolly jumper -wearing lads are back to reclaim their throne

Buki Bakare 2002

Just when we were beginning to despair of any real vocal talent still left out there in today's market, our favourite V - neck woolly jumper -wearing lads are back to reclaim their throne with their 6th album entitled Full Circle.

Since the early 90s, Boyz II Men have been the original blueprint for male harmony groups worldwide, warranting a steady influx of younger disciples eager to step into the ring. Though it has to be said very few appear to have come even close to matching the quartets unique vocal range.

After disappointing sales of their last two albums, the award winning Philly four return from a two year hiatus, having left their long-standing label; Motown in favour for Arista. The Boyz (although I think we can now safely assume they are men), have once again wisely teamed up with their previous winning production formula; LA Reid with Jam and Lewis.

Full Circle sees a return to the familiar signature Boyz II Men sound that we have grown accustomed to; smooth textured ballads accompanied with unmistakable soothing harmonious tones. With an unwavering effort to complete with the current younger artists they have added a dash of hip-hop flava for good measure. The outcome however is somewhat dubious, particularly on tracks like "Aint a Thang Wrong" and "Roll wit it". "Motownphilly" these aint!

However one track where it does seem to work is "Relax Your Mind"; up-tempo but with that chill out vibe, it has all the right ingredients, including Faith Evans. Noticeable tracks are "The Colour of Love". Written of course by Babyface, this is classic Boyz II Men drawing you in swiftly and refusing to let you go, and "Oh Well" which demonstrates their exceptional skill of heavenly sounding harmonies, while Shawn sweetly sings of "Maybe tomorrows". The placid use of strings and percussions on "Thats why I love you" evokes a gentle almost tranquil inner feeling and with Michaels sexy Barritone voice it adds that extra kick, ladies beware!

All in all, this album makes a true return to top form that has been lacking in their previous albums.

A decade on, over 60 million record sales and countless accolades later, our four friends are determined to show us they still remain the cream of the crop when it comes to romantic soul, and although the up-tempo tracks are unlikely to be "Skip proof." Boyz II Men fans and anyone who truly appreciates what constitutes as good quality Rhythm and Blues cannot be disappointed with Full Circle.

Now if we could just get them to leave the pullovers and white socks at home...

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