AZ Yet members Marc Nelson, Kenny Terry, Dion Allen and Claude Thomas (no Dyshon Benson) have reunited to give us their sophomore album after a 20 year gap!
While we won’t say this album is perfect by any means, we have to admit we were excited to here this and impressed that the members haven’t lost a vocal step during their downtime. This really does feel the successor to their first album in both tone and style, with the vocals being just as lush as ever. They do sound older but they don’t sound old; just giving off the feeling of men who have lived their lives and learned more about love.
If you are at all familiar with AZ Yet’s debut, you know that their style of R&B is slower and more focused on lyrical content and vocals than most singers/groups. There are no bops in this set (there weren’t any on the last one either), but they focus on classical construction and more enduring styles to keep their music listenable in, say, 20 years.
There is also a pretty nice remake of their hit, Last Night, included in this set.
The biggest downside to this album, though, is the production. While some of the tracks are well produced and everything sounds level, some of the songs towards the end feel rushed and the vocals occasionally sound like the group members where in different studios (or on Skype) while recording as the vocal quality is inconsistent. On some songs, you can get past it thanks to the lyrics and the overall harmonization, but it’s very distracting and kills some songs before they can really begin.
There is also the problem with the length of lyrics on some of the songs. Having purchased Marc Nelson’s solo album back in the day, you can hear some of the issues with lines cramming in too much content at the expense of melody. Some songs just sound slightly off due to this and, while you can recover from that on subsequent listens, it does takes some songs down.
It’s still worth a listen, though, and the acappelas alone are musical ambrosia.
Our favorite tracks are Quality Time, Love Her Mind, and Kiss From A Rose. The most skippable tracks are Young Girl, Feel Good Blues, and Better Than Sex due to the construction of the lines in the lyrics and the weird production changes.