Today’s From The Vault pick is an R&B classic.
This week we give you the harmony-heavy ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’ by Shai.
At a time where soulful ballads were the hottest of commodities, the male quad released their acapella debut to ample critical and commercial acclaim.
Indeed, ‘Love’ – helmed by Carl “Groove” Martin – spent eight consecutive weeks at #2, being held off the top position the entire time by Whitney Houston’s gargantuan hit ‘I Will Always Love You’ in 1992.
[Though the song peaked at #36 in the UK, a cover version by boyband East 17 and soul singer Gabrielle was released a few years later and climbed to #2 – behind the Spice Girls’ ‘Say You’ll Be There.’ #JusticeForShai, right?!]
Equally understated, the track’s Ian Fletcher-directed visual saw the group avoid pomp and pageantry in favor of a more passionate, intimate and compelling moment. A move, which in turn, allowed their voices and harmonies take centre-stage.
Reflecting on this track has us angling for a new breed of boyband vocalists to carry the baton for the modern era.
For, while today’s climate boasts Beyonce’s, Rihanna’s and Nicki’s as present-day equivalents to the Janet’s, Madonna’s and Lil’ Kim’s, the same can’t be said of the current crop of male groups.
So though we enjoy basking in the nostalgia of classics such as ‘If I Ever,’ we’re equally ready for male ensembles of the modern age to emerge and build on the foundations that the likes of Shai and Boyz II Men laid oh so skilfully.
Sure times have changed, but it’s not everyday singer-rapper hybrids screaming “skr skr.”
As such, for us, a vocal group of guys in the “social media” era would be intriguing to see and the definition of refreshing.