Monday, August 4, 2008

To discuss 90s music: Why speaking is better than singing

This must be mentioned. It's come up in several of my conversations recently, which means either God wants me to write about it, or that I am terrible at bringing up new topics in conversation.

I'm not sure if anything in the 90s caused more panties to drop, more candles to be lit, more sweet, sweet love to be passionately and wrecklessly made, than those dulcet tones of Boyz II Men. It will be no secret, as this blog continues in the future, that I am a much bigger fan of 90s music than 80's music, due in part to it's better, and due in part to the fact I was in diapers in the 80s, so I was much more Like a Bedwetter than Like a Virgin.
In fact, I plan on writing a Top 90s song and movie list bound to lead you to iTunes for immediate gratifiaction. That sound you heard? Your jaw dropping. Please pick it up and let's move on.

So, Boyz II Men sold millions upon millions of albums. Ultrasuccessful. Their version of Silent Night is so good I listen to it in July, and So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday is auralgasmic (that just sounds like it's a real word, doesn't it?).
But what I've come to appreciate the most about this Philly quartet is about two octaves down.
Michael McCary. Bass. Anchor. Aforementioned seeker of undergarments.
It's not about his singing, which is pleasant. It's about how he pioneered those killer spoken word segments that announced to females, "Hey, you know we could've done a breathtaking four-part harmony here, but instead, I'm speaking to you, real tender-like, and it's going to melt your secret areas."
While Wanye was busy cranking out the high notes, big Mike is sweet talking. This is what gets me. I know many women that love a man who can sing. But Mike? He says 'screw that.' You want a real man? Let me low-talk you about how you've been sleeping around and I'm taking you back anyway. Let my voice make James Earl Jones sound like a pubescent boy on a first date. Let me say things low and slow, because it's sexy, and we also need to fill 4 minutes.
Have you heard any boy bands do this successfully since? Don't think so.
What, Lance Bass was going to low-talk for NSync? "Baby, I just want to tell you... you mean the world to me... you're handsome and such a great dresser, and your facial hai... I mean, I love ladies. Boys are gross..."
So here's what I'm wondering. It's been a decade-plus since BIIM paved the way for spoken-word savants everywhere to make women puddy in their hands. But I don't think I'll ever be able to use it. I'd love to go up to a girl and low-talk her, but then I'll sound like a pervert, and I'd still need three other dudes singing behind me.
But maybe this can work in other areas of life.... "Baby, you know me too well. You know I've been gone too long...So take this purchase back, beautiful Target cashier. I've got the receipt. You've got my heart, oh yeeaaahhh"

On a related note, bet you didn't know McCary had to eventually drop out of Boyz II Men. He developed scoliosis. So, kids, you've now learned that when you spend your life on bended knee and making love "all through the night," you get curvature of the spine. Lesson learned.

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