I Can't Call It: I Missed Us - SWV

Posted On Monday, January 28, 2013

If I had to pick a R&aB group that was the soundtrack to my college years ('92-'96) it would EASLIY be SWV. When their debut album "It's About Time" dropped back in '92 I LOVED this album and back then I wasn't even rocking with R&B like that! To this day whenever I hear "Weak" (one of my fave slow jawns), "Downtown" (these chicks got a song about oral sex in heavy rotation on the radio...you gotta salute that) "Anything (rmx)" (these chicks were the first to have the Wu on an R&B jawn) "Right Here (rmx)" (freaking the "Human Nature" sample before Extra P)...ALL of those songs take me back to my freshmen year at Morgan State! Their follow up "New Beginning" was aiight to me but it did bless me with "Use My Heart" (freaking the B.T. Express "If It Don't Turn You On"sample made famous by EPMD). With their 3rd album "Release Some Tension" it was like these chicks got back to basics cause this jawn had a couple of bangers on it but then the group broke up. Coko married Ish (aka Butterfly from Digable Planets) had a kid, tried a solo career and last time I checked was singing gospel. The other 2 chicks (like anybody REALLY knew their names) had enough sense to not try a BBD move and one of 'em figured out that marrying a baller & getting a reality show also helps to keep your name out there. But to be honest I never thought this group would ever get back together but I guess when rent is due and solo careers and reality shows don't help pay the bills, what else is left? But does anybody even care about a new SWV album 20 years after they first stepped on the scene?

"I Missed Us" sets off with 4 CLASSIC uptempo SWV bangers with "Co Sign" (which uses the "You're Getting A Little Too Smart" drums), "All About You", "Show Off" and "Do Ya" (that samples one of my favorite Rufus and Chaka Khan songs "Do You Love What You Feel") that will take you right back to the 90's. And not just because of the classic SWV sound but because of Coko's on her Jay Z jawn as she borrows lyrics from Hi Five's "The Kissing Game" and Jodeci's "Come and Talk To Me." But just as quickly as the party starts, it quickly slows down. I can't front, I'm not feeling the bulk of the slow songs on "I Missed Us." Songs like "Keep You Home", "Time To Go", "Love Unconditionally" and the title track are just aiight at best. Maybe it's my high expectations but these chicks gave us "Rain", "Weak" and "Use My Heart" so I think my expectations are just about right for Coko and 'em BUT they don't leave us out in the cold for the entire album because my two fave songs on the album are slow jams with "Everything I Love" and "Use Me." Now these two jawns are the BANGERS I was waiting for. But not even the bulk of the album's slow jams being aiight and some HORRIBLE Big Kap and Missy Elliott impersonations (see "All About You" & "Do Ya") can ruin the fact that "I Missed Us" is a solid output for some chicks who haven't been on the scene in over a decade.

"I Missed Us" plays like an album they recorded in '95 but never released on some Nas ish with the "Lost Tapes" which is EXACTLY what I think more groups need to do. I know a lot of people who don't like the album for that exact same reason. I guess they wanted them to update their formula but isn't that the very thing we assassinate artists for doing? Getting with whoever's the hot producer and MC's at the time to try to sell some records? I don't know about ya'll but I don't have ANY urge whatsoever to hear SWV over a Hit Boy beat with Rick Ross, Meek Mills, 2 Chainz or Young Jock, Young Dro or Young Yo ALL over it. In fact that's why I wasn't excited about hearing this album in the 1st place cause I thought that's what it was gonna be. But I dig a group staying in their lane and doing the music they do best and that's what Coko, Taj and Leele (yeah, I learned the other chick's names) do on "I Missed Us." So the original question was, does anybody care about a new SWV album 20 years later? I'm not sure if they do...but they should.

4 outta 5

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