Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Get ready for a trip down memory lane to R&B teen sensation Tevin Campbell‘s sophomore smash ‘I’m Ready’…
In an era where radio saw equal room for an abundance of R&B balladeers and the then-rising offerings of New Jack Swing, longtime Michael Jackson collaborator Quincy Jones sought to discover a talent who could effortlessly combine the two. What he found was Texan teen powerhouse vocalist Tevin Campbell.
Showcasing a vocal talent well beyond his years (often likened to that of Whitney Houston), the teen heartthrob went on to wow crowds with soaring live renditions of hits ‘Tell Me What You Want Me To Do’, ‘Round and Round’, and more from his debut album.
Undoubtedly in an effort to recreate some of the magic of his inaugural offering, Tevin assembled an all-star cast of producers (Prince, Babyface, etc) to craft his 1993 sophomore set ‘I’m Ready’. Led by what would become the biggest hit of his career ‘Can We Talk’…
‘Can We Talk’
…the aptly titled R&B collage displayed Tevin at his best and proved he was indeed “ready”…for a chart takeover. Flying to the top of R&B charts, the album would eventually reach double platinum status on the wings of singles ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ and, of course, its title track ‘I’m Ready’….
‘Don’t Say Goodbye Girl’
Just like his debut effort, the commercial acclaim of ‘Ready’ mirrored its critical success and landed the hitmaker multiple Grammy nominations in R&B categories for its title single and fan-favorite ‘Always In My Heart’…
‘Always In My Heart’
And, while ‘Shh…’ – the most risque track on the album – did not make much noise on charts, the crooner really looked to show fans he was “ready” to get his grown man on. The song served as Tev’s first experiment with ‘sex symbolism’, littered with a number of not-so-kid friendly innuendoes.
‘Shhh…Break It Down’
While some may attribute Tevin’s sex symbol experiments and/or refusal to succumb to the late 90s hip hop dominated R&B fusions to the fall of his career, gems like ‘I’m Ready’ prove that quality still stands the test of time. With that, we shine a spotlight on this R&B classic and can only hope that the genre’s resurgence comes on the hems of worthy talent with gifts that outweigh gimmicks and stripping.
‘I’m Ready (Live)’