You want the truth? Do you? You can’t handle the truth! Sorry, I’ve always wanted to write...
DJBooth Album Review
The Claim: Cherish belongs among some elite company.
The Truth: There’s been talk, some of it from fans and some it from Cherish themselves, that this album will be go down as an R&B classic, that it will place them alongside legendary groups like Destiny’s Child, En Vogue and SWV. Sorry, it’s just not true. Those who would make the En Vogue comparison aren’t exaggerating Cherish’s talent as much as they’re forgetting just how dope En Vogue was, but the honest truth is that Cherish simply doesn’t have the vocal firepower of those legendary girl groups. Take Amnesia, the album’s guitar-driven ballad. Amnesia’s whispering and echoing production doesn’t call for over-the-top vocal acrobatics, but it’s still lacking that heart-stopping emotion that a truly gifted singer, or singers, can provide. Or better yet, just take Love Sick. If ever there was a song that called for some tear-jerking vocal breakdowns it’s Love Sick, but while Cherish teases us with glimpses of their potential, they never deliver the knock-out blow. The girls, excuse me, women, are perfectly decent singers, but they just can’t stand next to the Beyonce’s of the world.
The Claim: Cherish will never have another hit as big as Do It To It.
The Truth: Sorry to cop out, but it’s just to early to tell if they’ll be able to top Do It To It, their addictively paced breakthrough that dropped at the height of the snap movement’s popularity. It was a “right song at the right time” situation, and Cherish may never be able to recreate its particular chart magic. But that doesn’t mean they’ll never have another big hit; in fact I’ll be surprised if Framed Out doesn’t earn some serious time on the airwaves. Framed Out has everything you want out of a hit single: the beat bounces with addictively layered synths, the subject matter is appropriately light, Cherish brings their brand of girl-friendly style to the vocals, and it doesn’t hurt that The Dream was involved. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of track radio eats up like Fat Joe at a taco stand. By contrast The Truth’s lead single Killa has been on the market for a while with positive, but not overwhelmingly positive results. Killa’s percussion-dense sound and soaring synths was made for the clubs, especially when you throw in a Yung Joc verse, but the have-fun style that makes Cherish unique is ultimately lost amidst all the electronica. Does The Truth have a smash single in it? Maybe, it’s too soon to tell. I know that’s not the most entertaining answer, but it’s the truth.
The Claim: Cherish is just another disposable girl group.
The Truth: False. Wrong. Lies. While The Truth doesn’t address the essence of life on a deeply philosophical level, Cherish does reveal the inner-workings of their own hearts and minds (which apparently consist almost entirely of clothes and boys). Whether it’s telling the tale of a crush on the guy who lives in your apartment building (Notice), the pressures of looking beautiful (Superstar) or the final torturous moments of a relationship gone wrong (Like A Drum), this is an album that isn’t afraid to drop the rich and famous routine and relate to their fan’s everyday lives. That means that how you feel about Cherish’s brand of r&b depends largely on if their truth is also yours, if you recognize elements of your own life in their constantly layered harmonies. Me? Not so much (considering I’m a white guy in my 20’s), but that doesn’t mean Cherish isn’t putting your life, or at least some small part of it, to music. And that, my friends, is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
DJBooth Rating - 3 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on May 13, 2008
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First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Magic City" (2007)
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