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R&B - Released October 20, 2017 | Masterworks

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After Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris switched it up for the scattered originals set Collide, they opted to return to faithful interpretative work on Under the Streetlight. It's closed out with a version of a Collide-era tune, "Ladies Man," but nothing that precedes it was composed after the early '60s. This is strictly early R&B, including a little doo wop, with arrangements that showcase the trio's interplay. The group gets a little help. For "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," they're joined by Jimmy Merchant, one of the original Teenagers. They team up with progenitors Take 6 for highlight "A Thousand Miles Away," popularized by the Heartbeats. Elsewhere, they support Brian McKnight, who performs the lead on "A Sunday Kind of Love," and feature Glee alum Amber Riley on the early Randy Newman co-composition "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is," a belter that also showcases Nathan Morris. They could probably knock out similar projects every few weeks and consistently attract listeners who won't tire of hearing refreshed classics. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released May 20, 2002 | Arista

Boyz II Men grew up with 2000's Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, providing a really fine, mature urban soul album, but not many noticed, so it was time for another new start in 2002. They left Motown and signed with Arista, where Antonio "L.A." Reid had successfully set up shop, breaking new acts and re-establishing old ones -- with the latter clearly in mind when he executive produced Boyz II Men's Full Circle, with the Boyz handling production duties. Everybody involved apparently decided that the best way to bring the boyz into the 2000s is by hedging their bets: offering a little of the stilted, early-'80s funk-influenced hip-hop that marked modern soul, while offering a lot of adult contemporary balladry. Although the group doesn't delve too hard into funk, it still doesn't mesh particularly well together, especially since the material, while well-sung as ever, isn't particularly distinguished. That doesn't mean it's bad -- the album is pleasant enough as it spins -- but it's simply not that memorable, which is quite a disappointment after the very, very nice Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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R&B - Released January 1, 2009 | Hip-O Select

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R&B - Released January 1, 2011 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released August 30, 2000 | Universal Records

Even if Boyz II Men's third album Evolution didn't rival II in terms of commercial clout, the group was still inescapable. Every male urban vocal group that reached the pop and R&B charts were clearly indebted to the quartet's stylish blend of old-school harmony, post-Aretha hyper-vocalizing, and lite hip-hop beats. The group returned to action in the fall of 2000 with Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, a nearly eponymous title for their first full-fledged adult album. And, as adults, they've made sure they're responsible for their own music -- at least one member (usually all) has songwriting credits for all but two of the album's 14 songs, and the group is credited with all but four of the album's productions. Usually, when a popular group seizes control of their reins in such a dramatic fashion, the result is muddled to say the least, but a remarkable thing happens here -- the group succeeds. True, they don't expand on the formula they developed on II, but they do fulfill the expectations that album set. There are no unexpected twists or turns, just the standard lush ballads and swinging hip-hop soul, but it delivers both sonically and substantively. Not every cut on the record is a standout, but even the average cuts are pleasant, and the best of the batch are either seductive or effortlessly danceable. Also, the group is beginning to cut back on their vocal histrionics, resulting in a record that is truly their most mature yet. It might not be their best -- it doesn't have the powerhouse singles of II -- but Boyz II Men make up for it by demonstrating that they can do much of this on their own, and still sound like the standard-bearers for urban soul. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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World - Released January 1, 1997 | Motown

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R&B - Released January 1, 1997 | Motown

Evolution is supposed to capture Boyz II Men in full maturity, but it sounds surprisingly similar to their blockbuster II. Like that album, Evolution relies on ballads, downplaying the group's dance-pop side. There are still several up-tempo numbers on the record, but it's clear that the group and their producers were more concerned with smooth ballads like "4 Seasons of Loneliness" and "A Song for Mama," which they deliver with typical grace. However, Boyz II Men's signature sound is beginning to sound like a formula, especially since the group fails to offer any new twists on their trademark hip-hop doo wop. There's enough strong material on Evolution to satisfy Boyz II Men's large fan base, but they will truly need to evolve on their fourth album in order to stay viable. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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World - Released January 1, 1995 | Motown

A Spanish version of their blockbuster second album, Yo Te Voy A Amar is necessary for Boyz II Men's Spanish-speaking fans, since it loses none of the lush, seductive qualities of the original English version and is filled with winning performances by the group. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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R&B - Released January 1, 2007 | Decca Crossover

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II

Pop - Released January 1, 1994 | Motown

With their second album, II, Boyz II Men assured their place at the top of the charts, as well as history. "I'll Make Love to You," the album's first single, stayed on the top of the charts for over two months, only to be unseated by "On Bended Knee," the album's second single. Not surprisingly, II is a carefully constructed crowd pleaser, accentuating all of the finest moments from their hit debut. While there are some high-energy dance tracks, the album's main strength is its slower numbers, where the group's vocals soar. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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R&B - Released October 20, 2017 | Masterworks

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Soul - Released September 16, 2014 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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R&B - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Crossover

The title of Boyz II Men’s third consecutive covers album is only partially indicative. The love songs covered on this disc span several decades and styles, unlike Throwback (‘70s and early-‘80s funk and soul) and Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA (self-explanatory), both of which were more focused thematically. What ties these songs together is that they are love songs, and nothing else. That early-‘60s R&B (Sam Cooke’s “Cupid”), late-‘90s country (Lonestar’s “Amazed”), and early-‘80s rock (Journey’s “Open Arms,” a choice likely influenced by producer Randy Jackson) are all part of the mix only hints at the randomness of the selections. Despite the range of the sources, Boyz II Men tie it all together, nearly to a fault. The group makes the occasional modification to the originals, like the ticking-clock vocal effect on Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”; otherwise, if you know the originals, and you know Boyz II Men, you can play these versions in your head without having heard them. ~ Andy Kellman

Soul - Released June 1, 2014 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Soul - Released June 1, 2014 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Soul - Released July 10, 2014 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Soul - Released October 21, 2014 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

In the liner notes for Collide, Boyz II Men's first album since 2011's Twenty, the trio say their approach was "sing whatever you like," "sing whatever feels right," a move they see as "risky after many years of the same old thing." More revealingly, they confess that they had "lost the joy" and were too concerned with airplay and sales. While those words seem like they should be written in support of an album involving a great deal of creative self-control, Collide was made with at least three dozen songwriters and producers. In fact, Nathan, Shawn, and Wanya produced only the vocals and did none of the writing -- surprising, given the amount of effort they put forth for Twenty. This is easily the group's most scattered album, as it offers various shades of ballads, some throwbacks, oddly escapist adult alternative fare, and even anthemic rockers. Many of them blur the line between fresh changes of pace and ill-suited switch-ups. "Already Gone," one that falls toward the latter, is schizophrenic itself, as it bounds between early-'80s arena rock and EDM. It's also one of many songs in which Auto-Tune is used -- easily the album's most baffling characteristic. There are, however, some undeniably pleasing moments, led by "Don't Stop" -- a natural and loose disco groove -- while "Believe Us," filled with appealingly dark undercurrents, wouldn't be out of place on commercial radio stations and does not resemble a compromise. The men definitely appear to have enjoyed making this. Hopefully they can get back to writing for themselves and leaning on fewer producers, too. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released September 29, 2017 | Masterworks

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R&B - Released September 22, 2017 | Masterworks

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R&B - Released August 25, 2017 | Masterworks

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