What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Legacy is a collection of hits -- nearly every one a blockbuster -- by the fabulously successful R&B outfit Boyz II Men. The album is a mixed bag, from forays into old-school nostalgia ("In the Still of the Night") and sweet odes to Mama to steamily romantic bedroom ballads and catchy dance tracks. Also included: the Boyz' joint outing with Mariah Carey on "One Sweet Day," a poignant song about departed loved ones looking down from heaven that went on to be performed at Princess Diana's memorial.
What's the story?
Though Boyz II Men initially called their style "hip-hop doo-wop," Philadelphia's Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary were also strongly influenced by classic R&B of the '60s and '70s. From their debut dance single "Motownphilly" in 1991, their vocal stylings, emotional appeal, and sheer versatility racked up one hit after another, making them the most commercially successful R&B act in history according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Along the way they collaborated with a raft of the era's superstars, and two examples -- "One Sweet Day" with Mariah Carey and "Hey Lover" with LL Cool J -- are on LEGACY: THE GREATEST HITS COLLECTION.
Is it any good?
The quality of all the songs on Legacy is consistently high, but every track may not be to every listener's taste, simply because there's so much stylistic variation. Some find the lead vocalist rapping over lush background harmonies; others are classic doo-wop or old-school R&B. "A Song for Mama" would gladden any mom's heart, whereas "Hey Lover" and "I'll Make Love to You" are probably the kind of song you don't take home to mother. Born of the AIDS epidemic, "One Sweet Day" found its way to Princess Diana's memorial and has been striking a chord with the bereaved ever since.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about "One Sweet Day" -- do you think it captures the feelings you have when a loved one dies?
"Motownphilly" is Boyz II Men's song about itself. Can you make up some rhymes yourself telling about something cool you've worked on with your friends?
There are many different musical styles in this collection -- which do you like best?