Vibe - 8/95, p.122
"...have created the kind of seasoned sophomore effort that won both critical acclaim and commercial success for...TLC and Mary J. Blige....cut down on the faddish lyrics and created an album that's deeper than their first....the slow grooves find a line and don't let go..."
The Source - 8/95, p.83
"...Xscape has returned to wipe out the competition....More maturity is present as they present a well laid-out mixture of ballads and mid-tempo grooves..."
Xscape: Kandi Burruss, Tiny Cottle, LaTocha Scott, Tamika Scott (vocals).
Additional personnel: MC Lyte (vocals); Lomax Spaulding, Bruno Speight, Tommy Martin (guitar); Delores Major (violin); Manuel Seal, Carl-So-Lowe, Allen "Grip" Smith, Percy Smith, Colette Howard, Sir Dean Grant (keyboards); Jermaine Dupri, Daryl Simmons, (keyboards, programming); Organized Noize Productions (keyboards, programming, background vocals); LaMarquis Jefferson, Zachary Scott, Ralph Stacy, Preston Crump (bass); Randy Hutchinson (drums); George "Spike" Nealy (percussion); Skeeter Rock, Shequera.
Producers: Jermaine Dupri, Daryl Simmons, Organized Noize Productions.
Engineers: Phil Tan, Thom "TK" Kidd, Bernasky Wall.
Recorded at Krosswire Studio, Bosstown Recording Studio, Darp and Dopler Studios and Studio Lacoco, Atlanta, Georgia.
Personnel: Xscape (background vocals); Lornax Spaulding, Bruno Speight, Tommy Martin (guitar); Delores Major (violin); Daryl Simmons, Jermaine Dupri (keyboards, drum programming); Percy Smith, Dean Grant, Allen Smith, Colette Howard, Manuel Seal, Jr., Carl-So-Lowe (keyboards); Randy Hutchinson (drums); Organized Noize (keyboard programming, drum programming, background vocals).
DJ: Skeeter Rock.
Audio Mixers: Daryl Simmons; Phil Tan.
Recording information: Bosstown Recording Studios, Atl; Darp and Doppler Studios, Atlanta, GA; Darp Studio; KrossWire Studio, Atlanta, GA; Purple Dragon; Purple Dragon and Bosstown Recording Studios, Atlanta,.
Director: Allen "Grip" Smith.
Unknown Contributor Role: MC Lyte.
Adding their voices to the recent vocal group bonanza is Xscape--also known as Tocha, Tamika, Tiny and Kandi--four ladies from Atlanta with a good feel for a slow groove. This is classic, slow R&B, done in the style of After 7 and Boyz II Men. But in this case it's the women who are getting their say. Backed by some solid studio musicians, and with some first-rate songs, Xscape displays their versatility, their soul, and above all, a knack for creating sensuous music.
"Hard To Say Goodbye" is a good example of what Xscape does best. A solo voice starts out things with a sultry, no-nonsense proclamation of love. Then Tamika adds her strong alto to the mix, and the rest of the group kicks in with some luxurious harmonizing. The whole groove gets wrapped up with some super-slick production, and you've pretty much got the Xscape sound summed up. Musically, the group keeps things low and mellow. Guitars are rounded at the edges, never abrasive, but the keyboard tracks are always just spare enough to let the full power of these fine voices step forward.
Xscape are women who aren't afraid to let their men know how they feel. Despite the smoothness of the overall sound, there are some raw expressions of sexuality on certain numbers. "Can't Hang," for instance, is a jam where a woman proclaims her sexual prowess as the equal of any man's, especially the one trying to seduce her at the moment. But in "Who Can I Run To," we hear that same woman asking "Who can I run to when I need love?" A deep question, one for the ages, and Xscape answers it in high style.