All-4-One Review

The album starts off with the song "So Much In Love." The song features soft nasally vocals with supporting vocals from the group. A cover of The Tymes hit from 1963, the track was the group's audition for their record deal and listening to it, you can see why the guys got the deal. Overall, a solid track though the speaking part seems silly.

Up next on the album is the song "Oh Girl." With some nice touches to the beat, the song starts out with some great harmonies. Reminding me of another classic R&B song from the era (ugh it's on the tip of my tongue), "Oh Girl" is a testimony to a man's love for a girl. Telling a girl he'll do everything to prove his love for her, the track has a very soft sound, letting vocals lead the way. The song really lets the lead vocalist run wild and he does well. Overall, the delivery on the song is strong, however, it seems to go on too long and just doesn't pull you in. A good song, but not great.

The third song on the album is "A Better Man." It doesn't take long to see All-4-One is a legit R&B group. They've got strong harmonies and remind me of a group of street corner crooners. "A Better Man" is another great track by the guys and is done acapella. It seems like a showcase of the group's talents as it sounds like everyone gets a brief solo at some point or another. The track seems to showcase the entire range of the group and they really do a wonderful job showing love. Overall, it's a sappy song, but it is a great sappy song.

The fourth song on the album should be familiar to everyone as it's the groups single "I Swear." All-4-One's classic hit, "I Swear" won a grammy and spent 11 weeks at #1. The song defined All-4-One's sound, leading them towards Adult Contemporary. Still, it's easy to understand why as the song is classic. The vocals are great as the guys croon for a loved one with such romantic lyrics. The guys voices interact well and Delious voice has such strength that it seals the deal on this one. A great song that defines the 90s.

In the fifth position on the album is the track "Down to the Last Drop." Another classic crooner, the guys promise they'll love their woman til the end on this track. The downside is, the guys presence just doesn't come out well on this song. The lead vocals get almost blocked out by the harmonies and the beat, causing the song to really lack the presence it needs. As such, it's a good song, but it could be better.

Closing out the ballads section of the album, the sixth track is titled "Without You." Without You starts off as a catchy ballad but begins to drag on. The chorus is a bit lifeless, hurting the song as it plays on. The song seems to wear on and is just too long. Overall, an okay song, but nothing remarkable.

The album starts to change pace with the seventh track, "She's Got Skillz." What a bizarre track to appear on All-4-One's album. With the trumpet blares and the snare, it almost sounds like All-4-One was trying for a new jack track. Overall, I'm conflicted on the song. It's a fun, catchy song, and the lyrics are entertaining, albeit repetitive. Still, the song isn't great, and it seems too out of place amidst the group's ballads. A good song, just... surprising.

Unfortunately, the album hits a rough spot after Skillz, on the track "Breathless." Featuring a classic 90s beat, All-4-One's "Breathless" features dampened vocals. I'm not really feeling the style on the song, though it at least is an attempt at something different. This song is probably the worst on the album and definitely the one to skip.

Nearing the end of the album, the ninth track is "Something About You." It has a catchy chorus and some nice style to it as the guys tell a girl there's something about her that gets them feening for her. A mid-tempo jam, the guys do decent with the track though the beat is a bit overpowering. The song is alright, but they could have done something more with it. As such, an enjoyable listen, but an average track overall.

Really throwing a curve ball, the tenth track on the album is "The Bomb." It sounds like All 4 One did a new song over Bobby Brown's My Prerogative melody. The beat is simple, just a collection of sounds and a synthesizer that follows the vocals. Really, the only redeeming trait of the song is the chorus which is catchy, largely because it models My Prerogative.

All-4-One closes the album with a moderately paced song titled "Here If You're Ready." The vocals seem on point with the track as the guys tell a girl that he's ready whenever she needs him. The talking on the track is a bit silly but the song overall seems to be done well.

Listening to All-4-One's debut album, it begins to become clear what set them down the path to becoming centered in the adult contemporary market. A mix of ballads and experimental uptempo jams, All-4-One clearly finds their strength in the ballads. The debut is a mixed bag as a result, but the album finds its strength in its first half. Worth checking out, but the album might not be worth a purchase.

tl;dr: A mix of ballads and experimental uptempo jams, All-4-One clearly finds their strength in the ballads. The debut is a mixed bag as a result, but the album finds its strength in its first half. Worth check out, but the album might not be worth a purchase.