Sunday, January 05, 2003

does anyone else - yes, this most of all means you, spizzazzzers - remember total? they were posited as the bad girls of bad boy, and they were. their eponymous debut was full of slinky, thick grooves, aggressive cooing, and a little bit of vaguely dirty talk (notably where they talked about tying up puffy on "whose is it?"). amg's stephen thomas erlewine sums up total nicely with this sentence: "most of the record is filled with deep, seductive funk that follows through on the group's promise." their best tracks, which largely were their hits, were perfectly-timed and so of-the-moment it hurt so good, packed with sticky beats and textbook hip-hop samples. "can't you see," their first hit, preceded their album and featured biggie-on-the-cusp-of-superstardom along with a molasses-thick bassline (it was on the new jersey drive soundtrack); "no one else," their second, was nice enough in its original version but in its "bad boy remix" became the frontline of the new femme rap vanguard, featuring a still-hungry foxy brown, a still-hungry (and mostly unknown) lil' kim, and a spitting-as-ever da brat. the rest of the album was solid stuff, but apart from a couple fingers' worth of songs ("kissin' you" most notable), was nowhere near the genius shown on those first two salvos. then came their second album, kima, keisha & pam (note: anytime r-and-b groups, especially girl groups, start naming their albums with their own first names, it usually means the end is nigh). it featured one more banger, "trippin'," which featured missy elliot. not as dark-deep-groovish as most of the first album, the production was somehow simultaneously further down (it has a real late-night feel) and lighter, airier. and then like swv a couple of years prior (they were to their time as leelee, taj & coko were to theirs), they were gone.

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