First Hit #1: August 15, 1992
I’ve praised Color Me Badd’s harmonies, in spite of not actually liking their songs very much, but nobody does great harmonies on songs I don’t like very much like Boys II Men. These guys have excellent voices, and the layers of harmony on the chorus is pretty amazing. The group earned their success through their expert blending of different vocal styles, leading to an Isaac Hayes-esque sexy spoken word breakdown. This was among the biggest hits of 1992 – I Will Always Love You was probably bigger, but much of its chart dominance was in 1993 – and they earned it.
But, well, I don’t actually like the song. I recognize the craft, and they do enough changes to keep it compelling – not many groups could end a cappella and make it just as vital as the rest of the song – and this is an exceptionally talented group. All that, and the song itself is kind of a bland thing. This is something that has cropped up before, with groups like Nelson, but it’s kind of an interesting conundrum.
In essence, Boys II Men have created a musical Toyota Camry. Beautifully put together, expertly designed, extremely popular, kind of bland.