Monday, November 23, 2020

"Criticize" by Alexander O'Neal

Song#:  3327
Date:  11/14/1987
Debut:  97
Peak:  70
Weeks:  11
Genre:  R&B, Electro-Funk

Pop Bits:  O'Neal's second album, Hearsay, got off to a great start when its first single, "Fake," made it to #1 on the R&B chart. It then crossed over to Pop and was able to crack the Top 30 (#25) while getting to #7 Dance. For a follow-up, this next track was selected. It would easily make the R&B Top 10 at #4, but this time around it wasn't able to catch on at Pop and it stalled low on the chart. It was also less popular at Dance peaking at #17. It was a slight dip in the road as his next single would put him back in the upper reaches of the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  O'Neal wrote this track with Garry Johnson, but it was producers Jam & Lewis that made the song work. It was a signature production by the pair that was amped up with a bit of rock. It was a beefy track that may not have been as immediately accessible or hooky as "Fake," but it was a worthy follow up that should have done better on the Pop chart.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  While the Hearsay album and its singles would do okay on the Pop chart in the US, it was far more successful in the UK. This single would be O'Neal's biggest hit there getting to #4. In turn, the album would reach #4 as well. Four other singles from the LP would reach the UK Top 40. With O'Neal's popularity soaring, the album would end up going triple-platinum in the UK. His next regular studio album, 1991's All True Man, would also do well getting to #2 and going gold thanks to four charting singles. In 1998, this song would return to the UK chart in a remix form. "Criticize ('98 Mix)" would make it to #51.


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