R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax

VOICES Notes and news on R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax releases

Don't Call It A Comeback

21 SEP 09 DAVID NATHAN

The L.A.-based quartet All-4-One won a Grammy Award, topped the pop charts with the massive hit "I Swear," which became one of the longest-running No. 1 singles in history, and garnered multi-platinum status with their debut. The group's first U.S. album in seven years, No Regrets (Peak) is chock-full of the kind of pop-soul material that initially brought them recognition and acclaim.

Many harmony groups of the early-'90s came and went, so you could be forgiven for thinking that the same fate befell All-4-One. A few hits and then, seemingly, Tony Borowiak, Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy and Alfred Nevarez vanished.

Well, not quite. The astonishing success All-4-One achieved in Asia meant that they've spent most of the last decade or so touring Japan, The Philippines, Korea, Thailand and Malaysia and recording specifically for their large Asian fan base.

The group has lost none of its vocal skills. A gorgeous a cappella treatment of "You Don't Know Nothin'" is absolutely stunning, a throwback to street corner harmonies that launched hundreds of doo-wop outfits back in the day. "My Child," a potent ballad with about the issues facing children caught in the middle of a divorce, is another standout. (When the group performed it recently in Las Vegas for the first time, they received a much-deserved standing ovation.) Old school music lovers will be thrilled that All-4-One is back with cuts like "Old Fashion Lovin'" and the guys even have one for the dance floor with "Go."