Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Boyz II Men: The Ballad Collection
Fall In Love Again

Genre: Pop, Soul R&B
Credits: 2000 Boyz II Men, Universal Music Inc.
Track Listing:
  1. On Bended Knee
  2. Doin’ Just Fine
  3. Please Don’t Go
  4. End of the Road
  5. It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday
  6. Can You Stand The Rain
  7. Girl in the Life Magazine
  8. One Sweet Day
  9. Four Seasons of Loneliness
  10. Water Runs Dry
  11. A Song For Mama
  12. I’ll Make Love To You
  13. I Will Get There
  14. Yesterday (Spanish Version)
  15. End of the Road
  16. So Amazing


Okay, call me a closet mush, but with the recent Valentines’ Day concert that Boyz II Men held in Manila, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. I actually found myself walking into a record bar and comparing two CDs in my hands. I was at a loss between purchasing Boyz II Men: Legacy and Boyz II Men: The Ballad Collection. Well, three extra tracks and Girl in the Life Magazine, a forever favorite, won me over.

I was never a fan of Boyz II Men in high school. I was too busy singing Wilson Philips songs back then. But in college, wow. I purchased the Evolution cassette tape as a birthday gift to a friend, borrowed it shortly, and I don’t think I ever returned it. Most of the songs in this ballad collection are actually from Evolution, the album that defined my college years…yes, including my then tumultuous love life. I cried over my ex with Four Seasons of Loneliness playing in the background and laughed over my loss with Doin’ Just Fine. Girl in the Life Magazine entertained me with its dreamy guitar and playful lyrics that tell of a man’s obsession with his dream girl who later ends up becoming his girlfriend. I just love this amusing stanza: All of my friends used to laugh / Said I was certifiably mad / ‘Till the day she came / And she blew them away / And asked me if I’d be her man / It seems that she went and fell / In love with my letters / Says she’s been looking for me / So the story ends well / We end up together / The girl in the life magazine. Aw!

The best part of this album is that not only are my favorite selections from Evolution here, but many of the songs that made them a household name are also contained in this disc. End of the Road is one of the BIIM songs that inspired many a boy band, to the point that you’d hear N’Sync or the Backstreet Boys singing this in a capella during concerts. Why is this so? Well, it’s simply because End of the Road is one of those songs wherein you’d hear the best of a singing group’s blending. Of course, nobody does it better than BIIM. You’d also get to hear Mariah Carey’s famous team-up with them in One Sweet Day. I know many people can’t stand the diva—yours truly included—but one has to admit that the girl has talent and that she chooses the best partners to perform with her during recordings.

There’s the classic On Bended Knees. If my fiancé would just sing this for me during the making up process, I know I would melt. Spanish rendition of Yesterday, anyone? This might sound like they’re riding on the Latin craze, but heck, if it’s as well sung as this, you won’t see me complaining. There’s nothing headier than hearing pure talent performing through the language of romance. The verdict? Damn! This is just so good!

Rating: 10/10



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