Selected by Dan
Boyz II Men
Hip hop, doo-wop foursome
Boyz II Men - the dominant vocal group of the ' return to Japan with their long
awaited fourth album, Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, and a tour to back it up that has
them playing three nights at the venerable Budokan.
Founded in Philadelphia, PA, in 1988, Boyz II Men burst on the scene with their 1991 debut
Cooleyhighharmony. Produced by Bell Biv Devoe's Michael Bivins, the album included
the huge hit single, "Motownphilly," which introduced the world to the group's
New Jack swing take on '50s and '60s doo-wop.
Their second single, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," was an even
greater success, and laid the groundwork for "End of the Road," which broke
Elvis Presley's record for the most weeks at number one.
Boyz II Men's second album, II, was issued in 1994 and became an even bigger seller
than their debut on the strengths of the single "I'll Make Love to You." Evolution
followed in 1997, failing to create as big a stir as their first two albums, but still
confirming the group's dominant commercial clout.
For the just released Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya (named for the members), the group
seized control of their own destiny, writing and producing most of it themselves. While
not a departure from the group's tested formula, the album proves the members' abilities
in delivering mature, effortless music of their own.
While Boyz II Men may not dominate the charts with Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya the
way they did in the mid '90s, they have set the template for a generation of urban soul
artists and continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
Boyz II Men
play the Budokan on January 9, 10 & 13, and Yokohama Arena on January 14. See listings for details.