I will be generous and give you an hour ;)
It looks like my generosity wasn't used at this point in time by @phoenix123 so let's get this roast acookin'!
We have had requests for Bardot and Las Ketchup earlier to be the first casualty of this rate......
Who will fall first????
Well well well, I don’t think we can be too taken aback by this first elimination. The only thing that surprised me about Just Kickin' It leaving first when compiling the list, was the fact that we were losing a 90s band/track first!
I had assumed with the firecrackers and the fact a large portion of the forum (and voters) knew most of this era’s tracks – the 90s would steam roll to the top 40 based on familiarity alone; but that was not to be for poor Xscape (mind you, they are technically the least famous from the list!)
Xscape were brought together by Jermain Dupri and Manual Seal with the aim to be ‘the ghetto En Vogue’ (hmmmmmmm), and included Kandi Burruss is its roster (of Real Housewives of Atlanta & Don’t Think I’m Not fame), so as a band, they were not without star power. The track we are rating however doesn’t really showcase this due to its laidback atmosphere (suitably as per the title track) and lack of punch. The harmonising and the groove are suitable and enjoyable enough, but considering the rate list includes bands that really go all out to showcase their personality (notably Salt & Pepa or Spice Girls here; not to mention En Vogue), it makes Xscape seem quite beige? This is a real shame as the R&B movement was really showcasing how varied, cool and groovy it could be – but the sound of Xscape squared in on generic for their debut instead of using the other qualities as a canvas!
Something I noticed about this rate is how divisive a lot of these acts were but Xscape just received mostly average scores throughout. I can’t imagine lyrics including ‘‘Every man wants a woman that can cook him a good meal/a woman that ain’t good just for lying on her back’’ endeared this track into the voters’ heart; and former group member LaTocha Scott’s response towards critiques of the sexist subtext was "I've heard some females say that the song is unreal and that they can tell it was written by a man, but I don't think it makes it sexist. Shoot, everybody knows a man wants a woman who can cook.", which is a downright mess itself!
If you are willing to give them a go though – Xscape did have some more singles that show a bit more diversity to their overall sound across ‘Understanding’ & ‘Who Can I Run To’. Had one of those been their debut (and potentially a better representation of what made them good) we may have said goodbye to another act first!
What did the rest of you have to say about this?
Let’s start with premiere #R&BJustice member londonrain (6) - I feel like I should absolutely adore the song given the genre, but it’s just so bland compared to what their contemporaries achieved. Yep! Beige is the word!
Empty Shoebox (4) - Maybe it's something about growing up in industrial Scotland, but I just don't 'get' R&B. I can't even tell whether this is a good R&B record or not. Personally, I wouldn't want to hear this again. You and ¾ of the voting public it would seem…
Trouble In Paradise (2) picked his name just so he could self-review his relationship with londonrain - This song is not for me, and I know that, but I still hate it. Joined by Filippa’s take on Pauline Hanson (0) – I don’t like it! ComeOnGloria (5) calls it generic 90s RnB, although considering the genre gave us great standards that era – maybe sub-average would be more correct?
The more positive comments came from (shock) Zar-Unity (6) who decided to come up with his own cool way of rating these songs (score/5 for taste, score/5 for technique) with - A pretty chill pop tune. Well mixed vocals by each singer. Tech: 4 Taste: 2 = 6 points and the sole 10-er from kermit_the_frog - Weirdly forgotten by many, Xscape are legitimately amazing and stand right up there next to TLC and SWV. Further Listening: Who Can I Run To?
DominoDancing (2): Oh God, what even are these lyrics? I don’t know, sis! Iheartpoptarts (8): I love it when pop acts reference themselves. It’s so S Club. It is but I believe they pre-date the iconic 7, 8 or is it 3 nowadays? Ufint (3) has some advice for our songstress - God Kandi, stick to songwriting and being a fabulous housewife. And let’s end with Unnameable (2) who apparently is the voice of the voters – just kickin’ this to the kerb!