Well I’ll be damned. If you had told me five years ago that a legitimate male R&B group was going to come out of Diddy’s Making the Band reality show, I would have said you were crazier than Bobby Brown on a crack binge. Yet here I am, holding Day26’s new album Forever In A Day and finding myself not only liking it in a guilty pleasure kind of way, but legitimately impressed. Not only did Robert, Brian, Willy, Mike and Que put out a very good sophomore album, they’ve managed not to disintegrate in …
Fans can also check out Day26's previous albums: Day26 - Day26
DJBooth Album Review
Lest we forget, Day26 owes its life to the marketing machine that is Diddy. That means that while artistic achievement is great, Forever In A Day better make that goddamn money too. The boys’ bid for chart domination begins with the lead single Imma Put It On Her, a track that runs through the radio success checklist, from drum fills to chopped n’ screwed samples to an appropriately lightweight verse from Yung Joc. Day26 does their part to give Put It On Her some vocal heat, but I’m more interested in Diddy’s rap contribution (and I use the term “rap” loosely). In terms of his “rapping,” Diddy’s become hip-hop’s alcoholic uncle. He shows up to family functions, says something crazy, and everyone just shakes their head and says, “Yeah, that’s crazy Uncle Diddy, what are you gonna do?” Diddyness aside, if Put It On Her was born to live on the radio, Shawty Wats Up was tailor made for the clubs. Wats Up is a T-Pain creation from top to bottom: the production’s dope, the hook’s catchy and everyone’s vocals get auto-tuned to death. With their voices thoroughly robotized Day26 could be anyone, they even sound strangely like Chris Brown at times, but sadly it won’t matter much. Radio will eat this up. Actually, in terms of pure mainstream appeal the Jermaine Dupri assisted Need That might be the album’s best chance at a smash hit, but long story short, Forever In A Day shouldn’t have any problems keeping Diddy’s bank account bulging.
If Forever In A Day was full of radio-ready tracks the Black Male R&B Supergroup Renaissance would be over before it begun, but luckily the majority of the album revels in more traditional ballads and mid-tempo jams. I’m not saying Day26 is a regular reader of these reviews, but I’ve long held that any truly great R&B album has to have at least one baby-making song, and lo and behold Day26 drops a track titled Babymaker. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide. Either way Babymaker shows that the boyish Day26 can get their grown man on, dropping scorching vocals over softly echoing production. If nine months from now there’s a surge of babies named Que we’ll know why. Amidst all the reality show drama its easy to forget that these guys were chosen because they can f**king sing, and that’s why Perfectly Blind’s my favorite track on the album. A minimally produced affair, Blind gives each of the boys a chance to vocally freestyle, harmonizing over each other in falsettos and emotional breakdowns. From traditional ballad like Reminds Me Of You to the raucous but still musical Stadium Music, Forever In A Day is surprisingly full of well-crafted songs that chronicle Day26 coming into their own as artists and men. They’ve got a way to go before I start calling them the second coming of Boyz II Men, but hope for the Black Male R&B Supergroup Renaissance burns bright, and Day26 is its unlikely beacon.
DJBooth Rating - 4 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 04/15/09
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Got Me Going" (2008)
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