Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ginuwine... The Bachelor
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
Despite a name that suggests he's not in it for the long run, this 24-year-old Washington, DC native is attempting to set the standard for the premillenium loverman. He's got washboard abs to go with serious pecs, an earne... more »
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Despite a name that suggests he's not in it for the long run, this 24-year-old Washington, DC native is attempting to set the standard for the premillenium loverman. He's got washboard abs to go with serious pecs, an earnest if not terribly flamboyant voice, and a sense of subtlety. His work is pleasantly free of the overwrought longing and distress that diminish most quiet storm efforts. Ginuwine's first CD is produced by Timbaland and features his trademark sparse soundscapes, which aim to support rather than overpower the frontman. In Maxwellian mode, Ginuwine has the sense to ask for, rather than declare, his carnal intentions, and he does so in songs that hold up to repeated listening. Ginuwine has--well--genuine musical merit. --Martin Johnson
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CHANGED THE GAME OF HIP-HOP/SOUL
Knyte | New York, NY | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before Usher Raymond caught the tidal wave that Ginuwine managed to create with this album, Hip-Hop/Soul was much less dynamic than it was between 1996 and 1999. After the end of the New Jack Era in 1992, it simply wasn't cool to dance - at all. But that all changed when Brandy started chipping away at the hard crust surrounding mid-90s R&B with her "Baby" video, and then Soul For Real brought back an easier spirit to the mix with "Candy Rain" and "Every Little Thing I Do (You're On My Mind)." But not since Bobby Brown ruled R&B had a solo singer been as daring as Ginuwine in terms of making dancing a focal point. Because circa 1989, Bobby Brown was THE MAN when it came to performing. And in 1996, it was Ginuwine who would bring it back.What makes this album special is that it was produced when the Timbaland sound was still fresh, and when it wasn't being imitated yet. The sparse and mysterious beats were a perfect counterpoint to Ginuwine's own slight voice, slight build, and fluid stage presence. Every song on "Ginuwine...The Bachelor" has its place, and I'll go as far to say that there isn't any filler on here. But the standout tracks are: "Pony" (of course), "Tell Me" (2nd single - great ballad in the vein of "So Anxious"), "Only When Ur Lonely" (5th single - dreamy and plush), "I'll Do Anything/I'm Sorry" (4th single - a percussive ballad in the vein of Aaliyah's "Heartbroken" - this is my favorite), and "When Doves Cry" (3rd single - all over MTV in 1997, great remake!).The songs that I didn't mention are still great, particularly "Hello" and "Lonely Daze," which are both lazy-sounding ballads that sound great late at night just chillin'. "Holler" and "Ginuwine 4 Ur Mind" are decent uptempos that prove that Ginuwine can do both fast and slow jams -- something that male R&B acts had a hard time doing after the New Jack Era ended. Uptempo cuts weren't really happening in male R&B between 1992 and 1996 with the exception of Soul For Real (who brought them back) and before that, maybe "Here We Go" by Portrait. But after Ginuwine kicked down the door, Usher sailed right on in and definitely benefited from Ginuwine's "The Bachelor."Now it can be argued that Usher attempted to pull a Ginuwine back in 1994 with his first album, and "Think of You" was indeed a fast song -- but it can't be denied that it was *Ginuwine* that originally seemed to be the 2nd coming of Bobby Brown before Usher came along with "You Make Me Wanna." It was on this album that Ginuwine sounds the most confident, the most unstoppable, and perhaps most importantly -- the most mysterious (sorta like Jodeci - especially Devante). I think what made this whole thing work was how unprecedented it was. Timbaland's beats were practically brand new then, and no one was copying yet. Ginuwine's vocal swagger (especially on "Pony") was a perfect match for these beats, and the timing of this album with Aaliyah's 'One In A Million' was like a one-two punch combination in 1996. Not to mention Missy Elliott's songwriting and vocals on cuts like the amazing "I'll Do Anything/I'm Sorry."To all reading, I hope you can feel my sincere enthusiasm and appreciation for this album. I can really listen to this thing from start to finish and feel rewarded because to me, the music is really good. Timbaland, Missy and Ginuwine (along with Magoo and Playa) were finally getting a chance to get their music heard after being under-utilized protégées of Devante Swing of Jodeci. And you can hear the freshness of their creativity just bursting out of the speakers whenever you put on anything from this camp around this time. And that includes Missy Elliott's debut, the previously mentioned 'One In A Million,' Timbaland & Magoo's 'Welcome To Our World' and even Playa's debut which had some heartfelt composition and singing.But 'Ginuwine...The Bachelor' represents a revolution in Hip-Hop/Soul. It represents a period in which things were starting to lighten up -- when the fellas were aloud to dance and *perform* again after the demise of New Jack Swing rendered dancing passé. It represents a period in which production styles evolved into a more innovative approach. If Teddy Riley is to be credited for New Jack Swing, Timbaland (who was a protégé of Riley) should be credited for the evolution of Hip-Hop/Soul into a more dance-friendly genre. Oh, and I almost forgot - Ginuwine actually co-wrote 9 of the 13 tracks from this album. Props are due for "Ginuwine...The Bachelor," because this album really changed the game for Hip-Hop/R&B, and formed the blueprint for classic songs like Dru Hill's "In My Bed (remix)" and albums like 'Justified' some six years later...New Jack Swing 4Ever"
IT'S DEEPER THAN IT APPEARS
J. Johnson | CT | 09/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1996 debut offering from Ginuwine (Elgin Lumpkin) may seem like just another gimmicky, flashy mainstream R&B debut from a buff pretty boy with a corny moniker. BUT after a closer listen to "Ginuwine...The Bacholor", it's become obvious that this album is deeper than it appears. The entire album has a mysterious, dark, and windy feel. In fact, I can conclude that it's like R&B-trip hop. It's like putting Johnny Gill in a Portishead-meets-Wu Tang setting. In fact, "The Bacholor" isn't really ordinary, by-the-numbers R&B.Produced by the genius Tim "Timbaland" Mosley (before he became the 'It' producer in the industry), "The Bacholor" shines with dense and low-key production that at the time sounded innovative. The shimmering drum program and distorted bleeps and burbs and "Pac Man" sound effects on the breakout smash "Pony" was awe-inducing in 1996 (a dismal year for R&B).Add to that unusual mix, forcefully sexual explicit lyrics ("If you're horny/let's do it ride it/my pony") and you have a twisted piece of R&B genius.
Although Ginuwine's voice is passable( though a bit thin and squeal), it's obvious that Tim's the real star of the star. Ginuwine is the mere vocalist in Tim's twisted musical landscape, coming off more like the compex, enigmatic Tricky than Dr. Dre.Moody shorchers like "Tell Me Do U Wanna" , the floundering "Lonely Daze", and "World Is So Cold" make this an even more surreal R&B ride. "World"'s lithing production just drags, but in an 'avant-garde' type way. More radio-friendly cuts like "I'll Do Anything/I'm Sorry"( co-written by an then-unknown Missy Elliot) , "G. Thang" (featuring a Portishead sample!), and "Holler" (a filler cut yet still has a hot beat) were added most likely so R&B fans wouldn't ask "what the hell is this?". Although the pointless closer "550 What?" is unneeded as are the weird "Usual Suspects" soundbites used in the intro and in between a few songs.It's suprising that no one caught on this album's damn near innovative production. It's obvious that an average talent like Ginuwine was trying to make himself stick out and Tim's surreal musical landscapes sure help him succeed. This isn't your mama's R&B. "The Bacholor", while not a classic, is defintely a intresting and underrated R&B album whose production blows you away. Ginuwine would release two more albums, both of which-as expected-were a lot more safe and less experimental than this one. He became just cookie cutter R&B but this debut is surely NOT cookie cutter. Get it."
blazerfan0 | Oregon | 06/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ginuwine comes through on his debut and brings one of the best R&B albums the genre has seen, still in the year 2002. He has a head start on other artists as Timbaland produces the entire album and provides Ginuwine with solid, upbeat, and funky beats.
The album starts off with the widely known "Pony". This is a great song, with a beat that was genius and still gets people's attention today. This song immediately shows what to expect from Ginuwine for the rest of the album as he brings and shows topics in a more explicit way than the traditional R&B artist. "Tell Me Do U Wanna" is a funky beat that Ginuwine sings in a relaxed fashion. This is one of the smoothest songs ever made. "Holler" is an upbeat song, not quite something to dance to, but certainly will get you groovin' to this song. "Hello" is a softer song, with Ginuwine singing about a story where he's trying to get in touch with his girl, but she won't return his calls. "Lonely Daze" is another good song, with real nice production from Timbaland, and really smooth singing from Ginuwine. "Ginuwine 4 Ur Mind" has a beat that's similar to "Pony" but Timbaland spins it a different way and it creates an exceptional song. "Only When Ur Lonely" is one of the more meaningful songs on the album as Ginuwine tells a story of a woman who is using him. "World Is So Cold" is another one of the deeper songs as Ginuwine sings about a woman who broke his heart. "When Doves Cry" is one of the highlights of the album as he sings a Prince song. This one is the underrated sleeper on the album and I probably would consider my first or second favorite on the album. "G Thang" has more of a rap style beat and Ginuwine sings a song for all the players out there. "550 What?" has a fast paced drum beat and Ginuwine uses it to sing about where he's from and how he's gotten to having his own album.
This is one of the best R&B albums ever released. The combination of Timbaland's production and Ginuwine's singing is great. Ginuwine doesn't have one of the most talented voices; he doesn't try to hit every single note. He knows his talents and limitations and they are shown on this CD. Every R&B fan should have this in their collection."