Volume 91, Issue 34

Wednesday, October 29, 1997

Union station


CD review

The O'Jays
Love you to tears

When people think of the O'Jays, they might think of three old guys trying to relive their era of R & B. They might even think of them as a little washed up. They couldn't be more wrong.

The O'Jays' latest album Love you to tears does give a hint of old style R & B, but the O'Jays have spiced it up and given it a whole new audience. In short, the O'Jays are going new places, but not forgetting where they came from. The background vocals, beats and instrumentals take on a more jazzy tone, making more of their ballads upbeat. Their lyrics, however, show the O'Jays of old with tracks like "Pay the bills," "Love you to tears" and "I want my cake." Romance fills all the tracks of Love you to tears and after listening to the entire CD, these guys sound smooth.

Eric Grant, Eddie Levert and Walter Williams make up the dynamic trio, which blends the similar voice characteristics into one flowing style.

One irritating point about Love you to tears is the tone of the lyrics. They may flow well and sound good, but after a while the words are just too depressing. It just seems like in every track they are begging forgiveness, or wanting someone back, or mourning a loss.

The title track is one of the best on the album, because it encompasses all smoothness, style, jazz, a little funk and harmony that is the O'Jays. It has more pleasant lyrics, puts more emphasis on love and romance and gives the listener an indication of what they must have been like in their youth. Maybe it is a revival song, or maybe it's the O'Jays trying to latch on to a new generation. Who knows?

With a level of class that R & B seems to be missing these days, the O'Jays' new album Love you to tears throws you back to an era of champagne, red roses and anticipation that made romance what it is.

–Yaseen Nimjee

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997