#soon! Part Un - The 60s-00s Girl Band Debut Breakthrough Rate

So the obtuse hint was not Sugababes........

That pretty much leaves us with the whole list of potential eliminees

But what does it mean?

Well the Sugababes certainly didn't do very much in regards to High Energy numbers, did they?



High Inergy - You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On)

Average Score: 6.463
Highest Score: 10 x 2 (@soratami, @Trouble in Paradise)
Lowest Score: 3 x 1 (@Conan)
So I must admit - this cut doesn’t bother me as much as Love Unlimited. In fact had High Inergy left first, you wouldn’t have heard much complaining from me (and had I given this a 7.2 instead of a 7.7, it would have - that's how close they were!). This is not because this is a particularly awful song but You Can’t Turn Me Off just doesn’t really resonate. It is more than competent in showcasing vocal harmonies and tonal progression along a pleasant tune but I can’t say it does very much to profile an identity or impact for the band?

The shame of it is that the girls obviously have talent, which you can hear on this track but they are left mostly unchallenged by the dull instrumental. The start of the song (where you just hear Vernessa Mitchell’s voice) has this soft and powerful quality that transports you, and in fact the progression at the start really does and makes you think you are listening to a classic Supremes track, unfortunately it starts to linger a little midway through by including the other members and going into vocal gymnastics. The back-up vocals from the other members is great but it feels a little disjointed, giving them each a verse may have worked a little better, especially with the subject matter of the track implying a bit of loneliness from the point of view of the protagonist - thus multiple vocals not really going or making sense?

However I feel about the track, High Inergy had decent success with You Can’t Turn Me Off, reaching #12 of the US charts. Unfortunately this was also their biggest hit and they never came very close to matching it. High Inergy came together in 1976 and were fashioned after Martha and The Vandellas & The Supremes (who we are yet to discuss properly) on Motown Records. They started off as a quartet but became a trio after the second album they released as lead singer Vernessa pursued a career in Gospel music. Barbara Mitchell (Vernessa’s sister) was then used as lead and you can hear more of her on their tracks Make Me Yours or He’s A Pretender.

What did the panel have to say?

Zar-Unity (8) loved it! - Beautiful, soulful song. Tech: 5 Taste: 3 = 8 points. Kermit_The_Frog (7) is also fond - Another new discovery for me and a band that I’m looking forward to investigating further… Saviodxl (7.1) may have found the reason why I don’t stan - It's like the female Bee Gees. Filippa (5) doesn’t find it even worthy enough to hate, how odd in this rate! - This is a good song, good voices but all in all, boring to me. Trouble In Paradise (10) may hold the key to loving the track - I have never heard this song but I have decided to stan it forever after my first listen. It just gets better with each listen.

Empty Shoebox (8) enjoys this soulful number but gave Love Unlimited half the points grrrrrrr - Lovely bit of soul. I could listen to this all day. Londonrain (6) has unusual praise! - This is rather pretty and I enjoy their vocals on this. DominoDancing (4.5) narrates for me - Smooth, but so, so boring. Ufint (5) might have the surname Attenborough also - Good enough and all but I can’t see myself listening to this ever again.

Unnameable (6) doesn’t lie – clearly the men had the best 70s sex jams. DJHazey (5) is thankful this didn’t bring out the villain in him - Nothing I'm going too crazy for, but thank goodness it kind of picks up a bit...I was fearing I would have to hand out my first really low score.

Some good points you all make here about the track, and since this is on Motown Records within the 1970s, it feels like a very appropriate sound for that label, showcasing soulful female vocals with a hint of sensuality. Maybe the lack of star power to be found in the girls (compared with the likes of Donna Summer or Diana Ross) with the callbacks and references to other girl bands (Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas) instead of building their own identity to stand out may have made them a little forgotten over the years? Either way, I am glad they got to feature here and be heard by you all! Let's just hope no other Soul records leave us in the next few cuts...​

I got to work early to start on my upcoming PJ00 co-hosting gig with the magnificent @Empty Shoebox - so you are getting your elimination a little early! Yeah!!


SWV – I’m So Into You

Average Score: 6.496
Highest Score: 9 x 3 (@kermit_the_frog, @Aester, @iheartpoptarts)
Lowest Score: 3 x 2 (@unnameable, @Empty Shoebox)​

So we finally lose another number from the 90s - the era list that went without an elimination since Xscape left at #60! The decade did a great job holding on but the second casualty, although may seem obvious to some is actually one of the most commercially successful here! SWV (Sisters With Voices) have, as of 2015, sold 25 million records! Let that sink in! We hardly discuss them here on PopJustice within most of our Girl Band talks or rates but out there, within their niche – superstars!

SWV broke into the scene in the early 90s but actually started out as a Gospel group when they formed in 1986. Their then manager (Maureen Singleton) sent out demo tapes of the girls with bottles of Perrier (as they couldn’t afford champagne) to record execs to get them signed, and it was after singing live in front of RCA executives that they were signed to an eight-album record deal (showing promise for a long term career)!

Their first single Right Here was released and reached the top 20 of the R&B sub chart but not the main one (although a reissue sampling Human Nature by Michael Jackson was released as the fourth single, which did do well and gave me a mini heart attack when I thought I picked the wrong ‘breakthrough’ song). Their first mainstream hit, charting on the Billboard Hot 100 at #6 was this one we are rating, I’m So Into You!

I have to say, I gave this track a 7.7, an 8 may have been in order! Although it isn’t the most standout track of even the R&B genre from our full list, it gives a great introduction into the sound of the genre at the time, and started promoting more mainstream appeal, which is fantastic and paved the way for more greats to come along and run with it! The track is a slow burn jam actually, and becomes more pleasant with each listen. The sisters’ vocals have a nice grit and identity to them and they harmonise very well. They also do what these debuts are supposed to do – build interest in discovering more from the act! And more from SWV you must investigate – they certainly have some jams in their repertoire (ask @londonrain for recommendations).

SWV had a bit of a hiatus (around a decade) as a band (some members tried solo careers) and around the time of their band comeback featured on Chris Brown’s official remix to She Ain’t You (I know, yikes – but still check it out if you prefer more modern sounding R&B) and brought out a few more songs in the 2010s, including Co-Sign. Legacy wise VH1 ranked them #88 on their 100 Greatest Women In Music List, BILLBOARD has them at #7 R&B acts and the #2 Top Selling/Airplay R&B Female Group of the 1990s! Decorated to the max!!

What did you think of SWV through this track, PopJustice?

DJHazey (5) doesn’t think much (not too surprisingly) - The main "I'm so into you" when the break the words down, that's about the only moment that's remotely interesting to me. Unnameable (3) thinks less than that – not my bag. Iheartpoptarts (9) is at the opposite end of that spectrum - 90s crush anthem! DominoDancing (5) doesn’t have high hopes for his memory, nor will he be contacting londonrain for pointers - Didn't know this before the rate, and I suspect I will have forgotten about it by the time it's over.

Empty Shoebox (3) has some technical difficulties - I CAN BARELY BREATHE. There's something off about the mix here. The vocals are far too quiet. It's not like the backing track has anything interesting going on that we need to hear. I really don't like it. It sounds really basic to me, but not unpleasant. Just forgettable. Trouble In Paradise (7) can see the positives, but the negatives don’t let the love go all the way - This song has a solid groove to it and the hook is nice but it feels like its 6 minutes long cause it repeats so much. Would be much improved with a shorter edit.

Filippa (4) is making mortal enemies out of @londonrain, @KingBruno & @Robsolete - Enough R&B. It’s not bad but I don’t really like it. Saviodxl (7.2) plays favourites - I really like Taj! Kermit_The_Frog (9) shares with us, Lester! - I’m such a fan that I even bought KoKo’s terrible solo album (though it did have a couple of bops, so not a complete waste). Love this song. Further Listening: Can We? Zar-Unity (7) ends us on a positive note - They sure do groove, and I'm feeling that late night romantic vibe here. Tech: 4 Taste: 3 = 7 points​

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Seems like a good point for a mediocre cut like this to leave. Can't complain about the last two or three eliminiations in general. Finally things are going according to plan.