The Isley Brothers Eternal (Feat. Ronald Isley AKA Mr. Biggs)
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- Released: August 7, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Dreamworks
CMJ - 9/3/01, p.19"...Wonderfully groovy..."
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
The Isley Brothers: Ronald "Mr. Biggs" Isley (vocals); Ernie Isley (guitar).
Additional personnel includes: Angela Winbush (vocals, keyboards, programming); Steve "Stone" Huff, Jimmy Jam, Terry Louis (various instruments); Raphael Saadiq (guitar, bass, background vocals); Donnie Lyle (guitar, bass); James "Big Jim" Wright (keyboards, background vocals); Kevin Wooten (keyboards); Martgol Beasley, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Jake & The Phatman, Abel Garibaldi, Ian Mereness, Alex Richbourg (programming); Jill Scott, The Johnson Sisters, Avant (background vocals).
Producers include: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Raphael Saadiq, R. Kelly, Steve "Stone" Huff.
Engineers include: Glenn Standridge, Abel Garibaldi, Peter Mokran.
"Contagious" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
Personnel: Angela Winbush (vocals, keyboards, drum programming); Raphael Saadiq (guitar, background vocals); Donnie Lyle, Ernie Isley (guitar); James "Big Jim" Wright (keyboards, background vocals); Jimmy Jam, Kelvin Wooten (keyboards); Alexander Richbourg (percussion, drum programming); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Abel Garibaldi, Ian Mereness (programming); Boogie Jake (drum programming); The Johnson Sisters, Jill Scott, Avant , Ronald Isley (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Neil Pogue; Steve Hodge.
Recording information: A Room, Philadelphia, PA; Conway Studios, Hollywood, CA; Flyte Tyme studios, Edina, MN; Larrabee West Recording Studio, West Hollywood, CA; Pookie Lab, Sacramento, CA; Stone Recording, Chicago, IL; Touch Of Jazz Studios, Philadelphia, PA; Trans Continental Studios, Orlando, FL.
Arrangers: Jimmy Jam; R. Kelly; Terry Lewis.
Reduced to siblings Ronald and younger brother Ernie (Rudolph became a minister, O'Kelly passed on in 1986, and Marvin was beset by diabetes), the Isley Brothers' Dreamworks debut is still very much in the vein of past triumphs. Plenty of smooth grooves, songs dealing with the varying facets of romance, and at least one Isleyfied cover (this time out Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now" finds Ronald Isley transforming the MOR standard into a slow jam classic).
Resurrecting Mr. Biggs, the larger-than-life playa alter-ego that first surfaced on R. Kelly's 1995 hit "Down Low (Nobody Has To Know)," older sibling Ronald gets to coolly snarl his way through "Contagious," a tale of discovered infidelity featuring Kelly as the other guy. Other notables who pop up are Philly songstress Jill Scott (the simmering duet "Said Enough") and Angela Winbush (the silk-sheet anthem "Warm Summer Night"). Ernie Isley's guitar playing also plays a major role whether it's on the chugging jam "Move Your Body" or the smoldering "Ernie's Jam." Aided by the cream of contemporary R&B, The Isleys continue to prove their relevance after 40-plus years of forging trends.
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