New Edition: Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe (vocals).
Personnel: New Edition (vocals, background vocals); Johnny Gill, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe (vocals, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Steve Hodge.
Recording information: Flyte Time Studios, Minneapolis, MN.
Photographer: Jim Shea.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Carl Smith ; David Eiland; Jim Demgen; Spencer Bernard; Jim Demgren; John Steiner; Jellybean Johnson; Johnny Gill; Michael Bivins; Ralph Tresvant; Richard Bell; Ronnie DeVoe; Bob Johnston ; Carl Smith.
This album marked New Edition's growth and maturity due in part to the production work of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and the addition of group newcomer Johnny Gill. The first single from the much anticipated album was "If Isn't Love." With its percussive rhythm and frigid keyboard effects, Ralph Tresvant applies his rigidly smooth tenor to this mid-tempo dance cut. The single peaked at number two and seven on the Billboard R&B and pop charts, respectively. The second single, "You're Not My Kind of Girl," has a more grueling beat. In an up-tempo style and with its appealing melody, Tresvant imparts a urgent cry on this apologetic lyric. Gill enhances the track with his amplified background vocals and lyrical sighs. The single peaked at number two on the Billboard R&B charts. "Can You Stand the Rain" came next. Unlike any ballad the group has ever embraced, it sailed up the charts to the number one spot. Primarily led by Gill and Tresvant, whose vocals mutually complement one another, Ricky Bell injects his vocal plea, and Michael Bivins has a small rap part. With an aggressive rhythm, "Crucial" resembles more of a Minneapolis sound in the vein of the Time and Alexander O'Neal. That does not negate the substance of the song. It peaked at number four. The fifth single was "N.E. Heartbreak." From the staccato cadence of the verse to the reeling-style bridge to the energized vamp, the single had much to offer. It peaked at 13. Two unreleased notables are the ballads "I'm Coming Home" and "Boys to Men." This is a outstanding album overall. ~ Craig Lytle