II Review

Boyz II Men's album II has long since gone diamond, making any review I write of it a moot point. However, for the sake of completeness, it's going to be reviewed.

The album kicks off with "Thank You" a tribute to the fans. Normally, I'm against thank yous as the way I see it, the best way to show your thankful is by writing good music. Boyz II Men accomplishes both ends here. The song is great, catchy and fun to move to. The group plays off each other well and throughout the song is nicely done. The only flaw with the track is its overly repetitive for its length. As a two minute intro, the track would be perfect. As a four minute song, it feels overdrawn. Still, a fun track.

The second track "All Around The World" is an example of what I was referring to when describing the first track. The song feels like filler as the guys sing about going around the world and how everything they do is for their fans. The track is catchy as the listing off of cities flows nicely. However, the song as a whole is just unremarkable.

"U Know" leaves the songs directed at fans and enters into the more usual territory for the group. It has a mid-tempo feel to it and the vocals are nicely done. It's nice to hear the deep sounds early on. Overall, an entertaining song though much like "Thank You," it does drag a bit at the end.

Fitting to its name, "Vibin" is a very laid back track that fits well when just sitting around relaxing. Unfortunately, the lyrics in the song are nothing to write home about and it does drag on a bit. The song gets a bit boring near the end and would have done wonders to have been a minute shorter.

While "Sit Away" seems to run the chorus for too long near the end, the song still works well. The lyrics are nice, albeit depressing at times. The vocals are well done and it's a good song to listen to when you find yourself starting to "sit away lonely."

"Jezzebel," while not one of the top tracks on the album, still manages to have an interesting style to it. The piano adds a nice flavor to it and while the minute intro is kind of a nuisance, the overall piece isn't bad. The choppiness of the chorus helps add to the track's overall flavor but there's something lacking from the track. It's not a bad number but it's not great either.

Suffering from similar problems to the earlier tracks on the album, "Trying Times" runs overly long. The chorus drags at the end, running for more than the last two minutes of the song. Nevertheless, the vocals on the song are still nice and the lyrics are enjoyable as well. The song is performed nicely, it just drags.

One of the album's biggest hits that helped drive its incredible sales is "I'll Make Love To You." Listening to the song, it is clear why the track did so well. The rising emotion both in the vocals and the beat help drive the song to its climax and the lyrics are smooth and sensual. The track remains one of the best to play when alone with one's sweetheart.

Continuing the album's hits is the tenth track, "On Bended Knees." Wanya really makes this song a tremendous number with his verse following Mike's spoken part. The lyrics are strong and his emotion is out of this world. Truly the defining point in a song that is laced with sorrow and pleading. Great track throughout.

After two strong songs, "50 Candles" seems a let down. The song has a similar message as "I'll Make Love To You" but lacks the strong emotion as the earlier track. Still, a listenable track but by no means one of the better songs.

Bringing the album back up again is "Water Runs Dry." The album's third hit single, doesn't seem to have quite the same magic as the first two from the album. While the vocals are still strong, the song doesn't develop as much and the emotions to climb. The chorus sounds nice as Mike's bass puts interesting accents on lines. Overall, a great song, but it can't quite stand next to "On Bended Knee" and "I'll Make Love To You."

Closing the album is one more example of the tremendous abilities of Boyz II Men in the track "Yesterday." The song is a lovely acapella that makes me wish the group would put out a full album of acapella tracks. Overall, a great way to end a great album.

tl;dr: Featuring classic #1 hits 'On Bended Knee' and 'I'll Make Love To You,' II is a must-have album.