Sunday, July 25, 2021

"If It Isn't Love" by New Edition

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3562
Date:  07/02/1988
Debut:  93
Peak:  7
Weeks:  21
Genre:  R&B, New Jack Swing

Pop Bits:  When Bobby Brown was ousted from New Edition in '85, the future of the group was in flux. While the remaining four members would record the retro covers LP Under a Blue Moon, which was a gold seller thanks to their remake of "Earth Angel," it seems lead singer Ralph Tresvant was contemplating leaving for a solo career. The uncertainty had the rest of the group wondering if they should call it a day or move forward. They decided to carry on and in the event Tresvant left, they hired on a new lead singer in Johnny Gill, who had some success with the #10 duet "Perfect Combiantion" with Stacy Lattisaw. When all was settled, Tresvant decided to stay on and the group was back to being a quintet. Work began on a fifth album that would be titled Heart Break. With the guys getting older, they were looking to upgrade their sound into something a bit more mature and got hooked up with songwriting/production team Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The pair would write and produce the majority of the album including this first single. The tune took off and reached #2 on the R&B chart. The song crossed over to Pop and it finally earned New Edition their second Top 10 on that chart. It also got to #20 Dance. The hit helped push the album to #3 R&B/#12 Pop and by the fall it would be a platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  I barely remember this song. The chorus jogged my memory, but other than that I couldn't remember a lick of this tune. I typically dig a good Jam & Lewis groove, but this was one that just didn't fully click with me. It wasn't one of their strongest compositions and the tempo of it bugs me. It seems to lag. I keep wanting to push it along. It needed to be snappier. Overall, it was a listenable track that helped New Edition get out of teenybopper mode and into something more appropriate for their age.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This was the group's eleventh single to make the R&B Top 10. It came close to becoming their fourth #1 on the chart, but it got blocked by another song. In an odd twist of fate, the single that kept New Edition out of the top spot was "Don't Be Cruel" by former group member Bobby Brown. Brown's single debuted on the R&B chart one week before New Edition's song. Each tune went neck and neck up the chart and cracked the Top 10 the same week with New Edition taking the lead at #7 and Brown right behind at #8. But then Brown's track took a leap up to #3 while New Edition rose to #5. The next week Brown captured the top spot as New Edition surged to its peak of #2. While this was going on, New Edition was prepping for their tour. Along for the ride were opening acts Al B. Sure! and....Bobby Brown. Yup. Brown had not scored his big crossover hits yet and so to help bring attention to his new LP, Brown got paired up with his former group for the tour. However, by the time the tour wrapped up in '89, Brown was arguably the bigger star having scored four Pop and R&B Top 10s from his album Don't Be Cruel. Brown then quickly turned around and got back out on the road, this time as the headliner.


No comments:

Post a Comment