Five Best Songs From After 7’s ‘Reflections’ Album
R&B may have lost a bit of its luster in recent years, but there was a time when artists were more concerned with love and companionship than lust and sexual boasts. During the '90s, one of the more underrated acts speaking to those values was After 7.
Comprised of brothers Kevon and Melvin Edmonds and longtime friend Keith Mitchell, the latter met Keith while attending Indiana University and Melvin joined the fold after getting his feet wet on the road touring with brother Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds' group, the Deele.
The signed to Virgin Records and released their self-titled debut in 1989, which was recorded under the guiding hand of Babyface and partner, L.A. Reid, who handled much of the writing and production on the album. Spawning the hit singles "Heat of the Moment," "Can't Stop" and the classic slow jam, "Ready or Not," the album would be certified platinum and establish the group as budding stars.
Almost three years to the date of their debut hitting shelves, After 7 unleashed their 1992 sophomore album, Takin' My Time, which is noted as being the only album without production from Babyface and L.A. Reid. Looking for a change of pace, the trio instead brought in Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and a young Dallas Austin to work on the project in addition to Darryl Simmons & Kayo, who had handled production on their debut. Takin' My Time was a minor success, but paled in comparison to its predecessor's lofty achievements.
On July 18, 1995, After 7 released their third and final album, Reflections, before disbanding in two years later. The album failed to cause much of a scene, but managed to earn the group another gold plaque to add to their collection and give their fans one last shining moment to enjoy.
Twenty years after its release, we take a look back and share five best songs from After 7's Reflections album. Check out the oldies, but goodies below.
After 7 serves up a feel-good jam with the sunny "I Like It Like That." Produced by Keith Andes, the beat hearkens back to the sound of yesteryear without coming off as stale or a retreat. The Edmonds brothers are also vocally up to task, belting out sweet-nothings directed toward the apples of their eyes. Featuring a funky beat and great songwriting, "I Like It Like That" is a delightful tune that is equal parts style and substance.
Listeners get hit with a quality slow ballad with the steamy album cut, "Cryin' for It." Produced by Babyface, the song finds the talented trio yearning for the love and affection of the woman of their dreams. Throwing all caution to the wind, After 7 lays their hearts on the line and come out with an album standout for their efforts. While some men aren't as transparent, After 7 lay it all on the line. "Don't you hear me cryin for it? / Don't you see my heart's on fire? / Don't you feel me dyin' for it? / Give me my heart's desire," they sing.
The group prove they have the jazz with the breezy ditty, "Save It Up." The Jon B.-produced track is an uptempo affair that features subtle drums, hand claps and keys in addition to horns on the chorus and bridge. "Hey, girl, I got it for you in a real bad way / So, baby you come push me round, push me down your way," Edmonds sings over the air-tight production, fully submitting in the name of love. "Save It Up" proves to be a great selection and is sure to get your feet tapping.
Reflections kicks off with the mid-tempo selection, "Til You Do Me Right." Produced by Babyface, the song finds the trio threatening to halt all communication unless they get their priorities in order. The first single released from the LP, "Til You Do Me Right" peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. This would also mark their last appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Lyrics like "I was in love with you and gave my heart to you / I did my best to keep you satisfied," speak to the frustrations of men scorned worldwide and is a perfect tune to convey that feeling.
The project reaches its zenith with the groovy offering, "How Did He Love You." Co-produced by Babyface and Jon B., the song features superb songwriting and a killer chorus that captures your ear and holds it for the track's duration. After 7 pull out all the stops and let the ladies know they'll do everything their man won't and without hesitation. They concoct a hell of a tune that still goes 20 years after it debuted.
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