This week we want to give some attention to Allure's All Cried Out. Featuring a verse from 112 and backing vocals by Mariah Carey, this track was packed with talent that helped launch its success.
Adding onto its power, the song was a cover of the hit by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Lisa Lisa was before my time, but it seemed like a great type of record to cover. Chilling lyrics, a duet (and who doesn't love duets?), and don't hate me, but Lisa Lisa's high pitched nasally style delivery on the original just doesn't work for me. As such, it becomes a record that is going to be solid during any generation, but has plenty of room to improve.
Allure's version of the song just has such strong vocal performance. Compared to Lisa Lisa, Allure's delivery has a much more soulful style, with a deeper, gravelly performance. The video for All Cried Out is kind of weird as the women seem to be singing in the middle of the forest in evening wear. But the song is so good and continues to hold up today.
The group Allure was signed to Mariah Carey's Crave label, and was comprised of Alla Gray (nee Davis), Hem-Lee (Linnie Blecher), Lalisha Sanders, and Akissa Mendez. Besides their biggest hit All Cried Out, the group had the single Head Over Heels which featured Nas and also performed well on the charts. Otherwise, their singles weren't able to break into the market.
Unfortunately, the group was only able to maintain its full strength for their first two albums. After the release of their second album, Sunny Days, Linnie Belcher left the group. While they went on to release two more albums, they've never been able to recapture that early success.
It's a shame the group wasn't able to keep up their early momentum. I think as the market shifted away from groups (Beyonce and Destiny's Child's last album was in 2004). I think a lot of their struggle came from being bounced from label to label, which meant the group had to constantly redefine it. They've released four albums across four different record labels.