Emotionally Yours

by: The O'Jays

With Emotionally Yours, the O'Jays clearly had the same goals that defined Serious--to appeal to the urban-contemporary market, yet remain true to their soul music roots. And for the most part, this approach succeeds. The production (which is handled by two of the O'Jays plus Terry Stubbs, Narada Michael Walden, among others) is decidedly high-tech, and elements of hip-hop and "new jack swing" are employed. But there's no mistaking the fact that the gritty, full-bodied vocals are by the O'Jays. Although not an outstanding album like Message in Our Music or Ship Ahoy, Emotionally Yours definitely has many strong points ranging from the socially aware funk smokers "Respect" and "Something for Nothing" (both of which employ rappers and come across as "Back Stabbers" or "Give the People What They Want" with a touch of Guy!) to the heartfelt balladry and crooning of "If I Find Love Again" "Closer to You" and "Keep on Pleasin' Me." Emotionally Yours proves that even at their second best, the O'Jays are far superior to most '90s R&B artists. ~ Alex Henderson

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