Nothing But Drama

by: Profyle

Harking back to the late-'80s new jack swing explosion, Profyle's excellent Nothin' but Drama album brings together sensual soul strings and light funky hip-hop beats in a classic Teddy Riley sense while also featuring the female-wooing, silky smooth vocals of the group's four crooners. In fact, with Riley actually producing two of the album's tracks (including the smash hit "Liar"), this album sounds almost too much like classic Guy or Keith Sweat; it's quite uncanny, as if Nothin' but Drama is, in fact, a remnant from the late-'80s new jack heyday. Most will notice this immediately. But to write this album off as merely derivative is to miss the fact that Profyle is making some heartfelt music, even if it retreads familiar ground. The foursome will probably appeal primarily to young women -- a fan base that most likely will be too young to even know what new jack swing is -- particularly with their sexy looks and posing. So in that sense, Motown Records has put together a wonderful album, pairing Profyle with producers such as Riley and Joe. Similar to how the Backstreet Boys are an uncanny hark back to the New Kids on the Block, it seems that a decade is enough time for a new generation of wistful youths to again soak up such bittersweet music. Still, it's hard to deny the infectious strings of Riley's "Liar," which may be one of his best productions ever. The rest of the album doesn't quite compare to this song, but it comes close at times. If anything though, 14 tracks of sappy romantic purring over candy-coated aural melancholia is a bit too much, without any up-tempo Bobby Brown-style numbers to break things up. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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