At a time where male R&B is on the up, we’d like to pay tribute to a song that helped popularize the genre in the first place. Shaï’s ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’ is today’s From The Vault pick.
Released in a Boyz II Men-dominated era, the A Cappella track is a harmonizing masterclass that took the R&B world by storm in 1992. Written by band member Carl Martin, it was blocked from the #1 spot by Whitney Houston’s gargantuan smash ‘I Will Always Love You’ and had to settle for a #2 placing – for 8 weeks – on the Billboard Hot 100. It did get to the top spot of the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B chart. It was also a UK Top 40 hit and placed 4th in the Australian charts.
The Ian Fletcher-directed video uses the same “less is more” approach the song does with the guys standing in a circle while singing the track and a scant beauty shots injected for good measure. For us, the simplicity allows the lyrics to really shine through, but most importantly the gentlemen’s voices to take centre-stage.
We wish more artists today would be as vocally adventurous as Shaï and other acts from the 90’s with their vocal arrangements. Though autotune and studio trickery is a necessity for a slew of modern acts, we feel some might rely on it too much, resulting in robotic, soulless deliveries. Furthermore, the EDM era seems to have sacrificed melody in favor of anthemic hooks and repetitive riffs.
Hopefully, the reemergence of organic music will mean more melodically and vocally rich tunes that will go on to inspire the next generations the same way ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’ has inspired ours.
Shaï, we salute you, we thank you.