When I was growing up, Saturday nights were a coloured with listening sessions of Golden Oldies. Soul music from the greats like Marvin Gaye; Gladys Knite and Barry White. As a young adult, we had Mariah Carey and Brandy… but do love songs still exist?
Romance can be compared to the regular oil-service necessary to keep a healthy relationship on the road, and R&B is your favourite mechanic.
No one can describe the feeling of getting home after missing your spouse all day to a home cooked meal, hot bath sprinkled with rose petals and chilled bubbles like a good R&B song. Not surprisingly it developed from the soul music our parents used to slow dance to in our living rooms while the old record glitched in the corner, but what as progressive as it was, it still spoke depth into the notion of love.
When Mariah Carey dropped her ‘Always Be My Baby’ single, I was an adolescent who was only just discovering tolerable to likeable qualities about boys but still every time it played, I would go sit right by the speaker, give a heartfelt sing along rendition and cry like I knew what it felt like to lose love.
I still get shrills today when I hear that first “Do do doop” when it starts! And don’t get me started on Brandy and Monica… I still haven’t forgiven Monica for claiming the boy is hers. Seriously Monica, get your own…
And now we are here… when the best of R&B can be found in a Nicki Minaj playlist. Sigh.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Nicki and Beyonce slow jams but let’s be honest, when was the last time you saw a single tear roll down a singer’s face since we left the 2000s? I’ll wait. Nothing on the current charts can beat Boys 2 Men’s ‘All my life’.
Today’s slow jams are more about bedroom jams more than love jams. They miss a long-lasting, forever kind of soulmate love professing that would melt your entire being and know you would die at the thought of your partner dying.
Maybe I’m being all ‘back in my day’ about it. You let me know. Is today’s R&B still created for love?
In the meantime, enjoy a classic by Deborah Cox and RL called We Can’t Be Friends
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