Picks and Pans Review: Always & Forever
Having trouble remembering just which R&B girl group is which? Don't worry. Just pay close attention to Eternal. This week's contestants in the Daughters of the Supremes sweepstakes are currently burning up both the pop and R&B charts with their first single, the lighter-than-air "Stay."
Although the girls come from London, they've got those radio-friendly, American R&B stylings down cold. Wrapping their creamy harmonies around a remake of Al Green's classic "Let's Stay Together" or the intoxicating "Save, Our Love," Eternal creates a pre-disco sound that calls to mind the Honey Cone and the Three Degrees. Eternal's gaggle of producers, including pop-gospel stalwart BeBe Winans, piles on the retro flourishes on this album, even dragging out kitschy early '70s sitars for a taste of that old-school flavor, currently au courant in R&B.
Despite the sharp competition and the often predictable nature of contemporary soul music, Eternal manages to dig their own little niche. Calling your debut Always & Forever might be wishful thinking, but right now, Eternal has the sweetest sound around. (EMI)