Monday, September 27, 2010

...And One

...One and One returned in 1997 with their second single, "My Soul" on Next Plateau.  It's another quality cut with an essence that's pure, vintage 90's.  It's a little slower, more of a smooth song than the rugged, energetic "Phenomenon," which for me makes it less compelling.  But I suppose your mileage will vary there, depending on your personal tastes - if you're the type that's always seeking out those Midnight Marauders/ The Roots-type cuts, this may be more up your alley.  But, whichever side of that fence you fall on, it's still a quality, respectable song.  They flip another great sample ("Tell Me This Is a Dream" by The Delfonics), which has been jacked by a couple other artists since, but it sounds great here.

And unlike their previous single, this one makes with the remixes.  First up is the Soul Mix, which isn't bad either.  It's got some heavy bass notes and a cool, mellow vibe.  The downside is that it all sounds a little too studio-crafted... which is to say that the music all sounds like it was programmed and created with studio equipment, as opposed to rich samples (or live instrumentation, of course).  So, it's okay... sort of like the 12" single version of album filler, but for the most part, you're going to want to stick with the original.

That's followed up by The Boogie Mix, which embellishes the R&B... all the versions have a little uncredited singing on the hook; but on this mix, she croons constantly in the background, it's more pronounced on the hook.  The music is more traditionally "R&B"ish, too, with sparse piano notes and another soft keyboard loop.  The whole venture just has more of an early Video Soul groove.

Flip it over and you've got Instrumentals for the Album and Soul Mixes; and, better still, you get a B-side song called ""Didn't I."  This is a pretty cool and harder track.  It's built around another Delfonics tune, this time (obviously) "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)."  They even have a girl singing a variation of their chorus for the hook.  It's not quite as good as there other two songs, but still nice.  Unfortunately, even though the label says "Album Version," this is clearly a censored Radio Edit with reversed curses.  And this song features a lot of cursing, so it really sucks that this is the only way to hear it.

Unfortunately, this was the last One and One record; they never released a full-length, which is a big disappointment.  Interestingly, though, they did reunite in 2002 to contribute a couple of tracks to the rather odd-ball Legends of Hip-Hop compilation, released by Absolut vodka, which I reviewed this time last year.

I wonder if there's an unreleased One and One album in somebody's vaults, somewhere.  The fact that Next Plateau had them for over a year (one single in '96, another in '97) and the fact that they released a Clean Version without a Dirty Version both suggest that one probably was recorded, or was at least underway.  Something seriously needs to be done about all this great hip-hop music being locked away in vaults; it's downright criminal how much the people are missing out on!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the heads up on these 12"s...Werner, as for unreleased stuff you're right. Someone should get all this unreleased hip-hop out there, then at least the artists could get some money!! Especially that Home Team LP.
    Matt E