On Black Friday, Dru Hill shared a little yuletide joy in the form of a Christmas album,
lazily creatively titled Christmas in Baltimore. It’s a surprisingly good listen as holiday music goes, considering that several songs are ONLY Christmas songs because they mention the word “holiday.” They’re Christmas songs in the way that Outkast’s “Player’s Ball” is a Christmas song. Like it is, but it’s not. You won’t be sitting around the piano 20 years from now singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like WHAT, follow my every step .... ”
Either way, I’m a Dru Hill fan, so any excuse to get another album out of them works for me, but it got me thinking about other R&B groups, largely from the ’90s, that I wish would release Christmas albums. Or wish they had done so. And for the record, Boyz II Men’s Christmas Interpretations is the premium gold standard for modern R&B Christmas albums.
This is the easiest group to request a Christmas album from. But I’m talking about, like, 1993-1995 Jodeci, where DeVante was at his creative peak. We might have gotten the absolute greatest Christmas album of all time that sounded like an album you could play in July. Can you imagine Diary of a Mad Band Jodeci making a holiday album? Man, I’m getting sad just thinking about the missed opportunities.
Lose Control is now, and will always be, a classic album to me. I want more of that. Some of that first-album magic would make for awesome Christmas sounds and tidings and shit. Did you realize they released an album in 2016? Me neither.
Who wouldn’t love to hear them get back together and throw together an album full of little Christmas ditties? I realize that one of the original members passed away a few years back. Also, I really thought Heather Headley was one of the former members of Brownstone. Or Jade. Either way, reunions are in these days.
Speaking of reunions, while this is one of the groups MOST likely to be able to pull this off currently and actually make noise, I realize this is NEVER happening, since most of us really only care to listen to the group with Kandi in it. And she quit, right? Either way, they had that one song on the So So Def 12 Days of Christmas album in 1996 (it also included a song with K-Ci and JoJo), but I’d love to hear a whole album of Kandi’s low register and Tiny’s yell and actual singing from the Scott sisters. Was that shade? I think that was shade.
Just kidding. I mean, they could; they were just spotted together talking in attempted harmony to the camera onstage at the Soul Train Awards recently. But could and should are two different animals. This was definite shade.
6. Jagged Edge
Because they sing so melodiously. Sure, they’d release an entire album of the same song sung 12 different ways, like, “Silent Night With Your Love” x 12, but that’s OK, because it would be the best damn song of all time sung so well. Those Casey brothers harmonize so well together. They might want to get this off while Kyle is still in jail, actually.
They had hits. And mostly, I’d just like this as another reason for Kameelah to get some more shine on my television. Hey, Kameelah, boo.
So, what they can’t sing? Christmas songs are for the Lord, and we let all types of people sing who have no business singing in church. Plus, I imagine studio engineers don’t get enough work these days. You work with Total, you’re getting ALL of your overtime. And a job at Christmas? Who could ask for more?
After all, it’s a booty call. Seriously, one of my favorite groups of the ’90s—I wore out the song “Joy” to the point where my mother did not ever want to hear it again—and while I’m not sure anybody in the group actually likes one another or speaks to one another, a Dave Hollister-led group singing about Santa would be awesome.
Without Tony Thompson (same with H-Town and Intro and several other groups who lost their leads), it just wouldn’t be the same, but a Hi-Five Christmas album would have been awesome in 1992.