The 1998 R&B Albums Rate (Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Brandy and Monica): WINNER REVEALED!

Which of these artists' followups do you like the most?

  • Brandy - Full Moon

  • Monica - After The Storm

  • Lauryn Hill - MTV Unplugged No. 2.0

  • Whitney Houston - Just Whitney...

Results are only viewable after voting.


Staff member
There better not be any more Mya cuts for a while...


Staff member
Can we get rid of everything by Lauren Phill except 'Everything is everything' and 'That other one I like but can't remember the title because the rest of the album made me repress it'?


I suspect @Ray won't mind this elimination, though.


#73. Truthfully

Average: 6.184
Highest score: 9.2 x 1 (@berserkboi)
Lowest score: 2 x 1 (@Trouble in Paradise, @Ray)
My score: 6
Brandy Norwood was given work as a backing vocalist for boy band Immature at eleven. ELEVEN. When will your faves?

She started her acting career in the ABC sitcom Thea while her first album was being recorded, and although the show was cancelled after one season, her acting career has continued in parallel with her singing career, including iconic roles in Moesha and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, as well as the title role in the 1997 film version of Cinderella, with Whitney Houston playing her fairy godmother.

Here are Brandy and Whitney on Impossible / It’s Possible, from that film:

At this stage of the rate, it’s becoming abundantly clear that any song without a 10 is going to be in serious danger, and with the elimination of Truthfully there are now only six of those left in the whole rate. A 6.18 average is pretty decent, but Truthfully suffered from the problem that even the Brandy fans didn’t really stan for this song. This was eliminated at #86 in the Brandy rate, so this is an improvement, I guess, and I'm impressed that we went this long without losing an album track.

This song was co-written by Marc Nelson, who was an original member of Boyz II Men (before their first album) and then went on to become a member of Az Yet, who had a top ten US and UK hit with their cover of Chicago’s Hard To Say I’m Sorry.

Marc Nelson co-wrote a number of songs for other artists (including Who Do You Tell? for Tamia’s debut album and Truthfully for Never Say Never) but he’s named Truthfully as one of his two favourites of the songs that he’s written. To quote him:

"The reason why I love that song is because when I went to the studio, it was so funny because she’s so shy, it really took me five different sessions to get her in the recording studio, I would go to the studio and she was not there! *Laughs* So when I finally got her in the studio we had a five minute conversation and just broke the ice of her being nervous about working with me and when she went in, she killed it in one take! It was phenomenal, it’s not often you have someone sing your record the way you heard it and envisioned it. There’s nothing wrong with the way other people have sung my material, but usually they give their own interpretation which is just as beautiful, but Brandy really hit what was in my spirit."

Brandy really does nail the vocals on this, as acknowledged by high scorer @berserkboi (9.2): “Crisp beautiful vocals on display here!”

@Trouble in Paradise (2) isn’t having it, though: “After many listens and much deliberation, I have decided that this is that treacly, overdone 90s ballad that don’t deserve my time. Particularly offensive is her languid delivery of “truth---------full-------ly”” Fellow lowest scorer @Ray (2) thinks much the same: “You know exactly what I think of this sort of ballads.”

@ComeOnGloria (8) gave us some thoughts on the album: “There were some songs on this album that so clearly remind me of this year - hanging out with friends, doing my GCSEs. Ah.... memories!”

@WowWowWowWow (5) thinks that it suffers a bit from the fact that we have much better material in this rate (“Truthfully? Not a patch on the others.”) and unfortunately @spillett (7) agrees: “the album dips for me a tad when we get to this ballad. It's nice enough but not something I ever seek out to listen to.”

@Remorque (5.5): “Okay, I enjoy a slow jam just as much as any other heffa does, but this is a bit much... Having said that, it's not outright bad though, but I'll never actively seek this one out.”

Let’s end on a positive note with @Sprockrooster (8): “Beautifully vocally delivered. Such a warm and comforting voice. I do not need to know what she is singing lyrically, cause I hear it in her voice.”

If you are outraged by this elimination… well, where was your 10 for it?

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