Boyz II Men Evolution (2for1 CD - Motown, 1997) ****
Places I remember: Originally I had II on cassette and Evolution was from the music shop at St Luke's Mall but this 2for1 package came from The Warehouse Hastings.
Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Harmony!
Gear costume: Some great ballads on both records - I'll Make Love To You/ On Bended Knee/ Water Runs Dry on II and Doin' Just Fine/ A Song For Mama/4 Seasons of Loneliness on Evolution.
Active compensatory factors: They kept me hanging on, long after the initial rush of End Of The Road. The first three albums all hold up!
II was the mega seller and it does contain some amazing stuff but some of the more up tempo material doesn't do it consistently for me.
Interestingly, Evolution is the one I return to the most - just a smooth-a-thon without peer. It formed the soundtrack for a lot of nights on duty at Mount Albert Grammar's School House hostel!
It's crammed with brilliant harmony, brilliant ballads, brilliant music - one great song after another . They even make a hugely over sentimental thing like a paean to mothers (A Song For Mama) sound amazing! It's a very impressive feat which they manage to sustain for 3/4 of the album, until Dear God proves a sentimental bridge too far.
Where do they all belong? Hard to sustain that amazing run and sure enough they struggled with label problems and health issues before coming up with fourth album Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya.