My pick of the day is “Weekend Girl” by the SOS Band, which is really a Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production (they later moved on to do such great releases like Janet Jackson’s Control for example). The reason I chose this track is because it just brings back tons of memories. As a young kid, listening to the radio was my favorite part of the day. I always gravitated to either the oldies station and when possible I would tune in to the late night quiet storm hours. The quiet storm radio format is really where they stuck all the R&B ballads, and slow jams on the radio. I still can’t quite pinpoint why I so loved hearing that format. I just loved the sound of those songs and some artists like Sade, Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye were my favorites. I mean, when every other kid in my school either loved hip-hop or whatever grunge was being played on the classic rock station, I was just waiting intently to put on the quiet storm late at night.
Now, with age, I’m starting to decipher why I loved those songs. This song is the perfect distillation of how they hold that mystique. Seduction, intrigue, and implication is all it boils down to it. All of those hold such an undeniable human attraction. The best slow jams have all these three themes running through them. Jimmy and Terry completely dissect that format here: the initial thrust comes from that seductive melody (where their own antiseptic production helps), then the intrigue that makes you want to linger comes in through those awesome swooping/elongated vocal verses that still sound so modern, and then finally the implication that makes you want to continue with the track comes from that airy chorus. Who cares that the actual lyrics of this track actually bely something not quite so sexy? The attraction of it all makes you forget that.
I believe the most important part in any song (maybe real life attraction) is always the intrigue…isn’t that what makes people swoon? The bulk of this track’s weight is carried by the vocal verses for a reason. You can always shift around the intrigue to be something else…but when its there you can’t deny its allure. Slowly, other artists are coming around to rediscover this essence (see: the XX, Jessie Ware, Disclosure for ex.) but this is a great way to start with its roots. Hell, I didn’t even know about this track until recently when I turned on V103 heard a different SOS Band song that so intrigued me by its uniqueness that I had to find other tracks from them. This one was a great find.
Can’t believe they did a video for “Tell Me if You Still Care”! The song is actually quite awesome, the video is quite something, truly the horrors of green screen technology: