Thursday, January 27, 2022

"Is It Love" by J.J. Fad

Song#:  3738
Date:  12/10/1988
Debut:  97
Peak:  92
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rap

Pop Bits:  This female rap trio hit big out of the gate with their gold-selling debut album Supersonic and its gold title track single. A second single, "Way Out," couldn't catch on as well (#51 R&B/#61 Pop), but their label went ahead and pushed out this third single. Surprisingly, the only chart it was able to reach was Pop, but it could only circle the bottom rungs for a few weeks. Still, the album was a solid winner for the new trio.

ReduxReview:  After a couple of hyper tracks, the trio slowed things down with this mid-tempo jam. The tune was fine and it worked well as an album closer, but it just wasn't a catchy track that was going to become a chart contender. It also lacked spark and personality. With the song coming off as a ballad, they really needed to emote to make the lyrics come to life and it didn't come off that way. They kind of did a flat reading. The production wasn't all that interesting either. Still, it wasn't all that bad for a fresh young trio trying to find their way.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  The producers of the Supersonic album were members of the group N.W.A., including Dr. Dre who also contributed to some tracks as a writer. After the release of Supersonic, N.W.A. would release their classic gangsta rap album Straight Outta Compton. It would be a #4 Pop/#9 R&B triple-platinum success. That was awesome for N.W.A., but not so much for J.J. Fad who wanted to record a new album to capitalize on their debut's success. With N.W.A. now a hot act and getting busier, it affected the timeline of a new J.J. Fad record, which started to get pushed back. Dr. Dre wanted them to delay any recording and wait for him as he wanted to help produce, but the trio felt they needed to dive in as quickly as possible and set out to record their follow up without him. They still retained N.W.A. members Arabian Prince and DJ Yella for production work (they had worked on the debut LP) and came up with 1990's Not Just a Fad. Unfortunately, by the time it came out, it seemed audiences had moved on to other rap acts and the momentum gained by their first LP was basically wiped out. None of the LP's singles reached any chart and therefore the album came and went quickly. With that result, J.J. Fad came to an end. It seems the three members ended up leaving the music business and went on to other work and to raise families. Then sometime around 2009, the trio decided to get back together and become a touring act. Since then, they have been appearing in multi-act shows that mainly featured rap/R&B acts from the 80s and 90s.


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