Classic Example

Track Listing

Number Title Lyrics Stream Video
1Don't Make Me WaitlyricsN/AN/A
2I Do CarelyricsN/Avideo
3Never Gonna Give You UplyricsN/AN/A
4Where Do I Run TolyricsN/AN/A
5Toast To Our LovelyricsN/AN/A
6Stay With Me TonightlyricsN/AN/A
7Lift Every Voice And SinglyricsN/AN/A
8The Other Side Of My BedlyricsN/AN/A
9Can You Find A Place In Your HeartlyricsN/AN/A
10Treat Her Like A LadylyricsN/AN/A
11All Your LovelyricsN/AN/A
12You Need LovelyricsN/AN/A
13She Ain't RightlyricsN/AN/A
14Dear LisalyricsN/AN/A

Classic Example surprise with their first and only album

Classic Example had high expectations when they put out their debut album. Backed by Maurice Starr, the producer of New Kids on the Block and New Edition, there were obvious expectations that Classic Example could fill a similar niche. If that weren't enough, classic R&B artist Gerald Alston's son, Gerald Alston, Jr. was a member of the group. So how does the album compare to other releases of the period?

As a whole, the album is solid. I tend to find a lot of the early 90s R&B albums too aggressive and don't like a lot of the new jack swing movement. On Classic Example's debut, they feature some of the snares and army like chants that I associate with Al B. Sure! and they sometimes remind me of Today with intense crooning like Big Bub. However, it's done more to complement the smoother performances.

The up tempo

You Need Love and Don't Make Me Wait have some punch to them that can feel some of the reminiscence of the early 90s style. The tracks feature catchy choruses and strong crooning vocals. I love the main vocalist's delivery. He just has such strength when he gets into a song, it elevates the entire track.

The ballads

While I expected the group to be more poppy and uptempo, the album has a fair amount of ballads. All Your Love feels like a classic throwback to old school R&B and has such a wonderful sound to it. Unfortunately, it's chorus is real simple and repetitive which leaves the track feeling repetitive. Dear Lisa and Toast to Our Love are another set of strong ballads on the album. They do both feature one of the singers who seems to be their go to guy for falsetto pieces and honestly, I hate the falsetto. It just doesn't sound right and detracts from the song as a whole. Ignoring that, Dear Lisa is a wonderful track, such a powerful ballad to end the album. It's a really touching track that ends the album on a high note.

Toast to Our Love is a nice track, but it is a bit hokey. It's very much a classic wedding song. The verses are great, but the choruses get a little repetitious. It has some vibe of a made for TV movie's song during a wedding scene. But it's a solid track all the same, and a great touch to love.

The covers and collaborations

The album features two covers, Where Do I Run To? and Lift Every Voice and Sing. Lift Every Voice and Sing is a go to for many R&B groups, and Classic Example does it well. The song features solid harmonies. I wish we saw more of the group like this on the album, it really has a lot of soul. Where Do I Run To? is a cover of the track by Cherelle. This track... I could do without. The production on it is aggressive, the chorus is underwhelming and repetitive. And that darn falsetto guy just intrudes on it too much.

The other track bundled here is Can You Find a Place In Your Heart. This song features a collaboration with Lady Soul. Margo Thunder sounds great on it. It's a little weird at first since the first 90 seconds or so are all female vocals, so at first I stopped to confirm I was listening to the right song. It's a solid ballad though.

The fun

She Ain't Right is probably my favorite track on the album. It is such a fun, funky song. It has that classic early 90s/late 80s rap mixed in. The guys sound like they had a lot of fun singing it and I wish we got a little more songs like this on the album.

Best tracks: Dear Lisa, I Do Care, Lift Every Voice and Sing, She Ain't Right

tl;dr:

Overall, Classic Example is a solid album that showed the potential of the group. They have talented vocals and were capable of moving between the ballads and up-tempo songs with ease. I feel like the group had the potential to blow up big, but were held back by weak writing. Many of the tracks just have such limited lyrics that prevent them from becoming the hits they could be. Still, the album is well worth the listen as you'll be surprised by what you hear. And if you can, definitely check out the group's song It's Alright, from the movie South Central.