Force MD's : Let Me Love You - The Greatest Hits

This is who we have to blame for Boyz II Men...

Imagine, Force MD's preceded hip-hop doo-wop groups like Boyz II Men by some 10 years yet, for many, they remain unknown. Force MD's carved their own unique niche back in the '80s with their brand of hip-hop inspired soul that would eventually dominate in the '90s.

As original as they were, like a lot of early rap itself, their model was rather basic and somewhat primitive. Hence this album, released in celebration of Tommy Boy's 20th anniversary, may be quite shocking for those uneducated about the group's relevance to the genre. Indeed, by listening to this, it's not hard to see why, upon the proliferation of rap and swing in the mainstream in the late-'80s, the Force MD's, dried out quicker than relaxed hair in the rain.

With doo-wop, in part, being the foundation for Force MD's, the group's harmonies were as opulent as Jigga's bank account. And that is probably the most enduring quality on this album. Everything else, as Busta Rhymes once rapped, remains raw. It's doo-wop with a bit of early New Edition and Full Force thrown in. Only in the '80s eh! Still, classic MD's material like 'Love Is A House', 'Tears' and the Jam & Lewis-produced 'Tender Love' (from 'Krush Groove') are featured on the album.

Bearing in mind when some of these tunes were recorded, you could imagine that Force MD's' sound was quite revolutionary at the time. But you had to be there. Their music doesn't date well. For history's sake, an important release, but for listening pleasure not quite so palatable.

Derek A Bardowell
6 / 10

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