The Underrated: Silk

The Underrated: Silk 

The 1990s is regarded as the best decade ever, usually by people 40 years old or younger. The TV shows were seemingly at the highest quality, movies had a lot more diversity in the casting, sports was booming as always, and the music was the greatest. Ah, yes. The music. 90s R&B and hip hop are steadily referred to as the best era of music period. While the neo-soul vibe of Erykah Badu, D'Angelo and Maxwell debuted in the late 90s, the sex-charged lyrics of Jodeci and the softer ballads of Babyface and Boyz II Men seemingly dominated from 1990-1996, carrying R&B out of the New Jack Swing era and into a more seductive word, if you will. One group that was very prominent throughout the decade and tends to get overlooked is Silk, the 5 man collective from out of Atlanta.

Discovered by Keith Sweat, the group began working on their debut album, "Lose Control", which spawned the number 1 hit, "Freak Me", a song that's still being played in bedrooms around the world. The album went platinum and set Silk in position to be the next group to dominate the 90s. Their "Lose Control" album spawned other great songs, such as the epic title track, "Happy Days", " Don't Keep Me Waiting featuring Levert", and the smooth "Girl U For Me". With Silk in position to take the throne in R&B, they prepared their second album, which was self titled and released in 1995, about 2 and a half years after "Lose Control".

Unfortunately, the second album did not reach close to the success that the debut album did, and while still spawning great songs such as "I Can Go Deep", "Don't Rush", and more, the album went under the radar mostly. That's unfortunate, because the album itself was very good, and Silk was 2 for 2 out the gate, in terms of album quality. They took a 4 year hiatus after the commercial disappointment of the second album, but returned in 1999 in a major way with their third album "Tonight".

"Tonight" signaled the return of Silk, not only album wise, but also hit wise, as the first single "If You" managed to crack the top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100, and their second single "Meeting In My Bedroom" took over urban radio instantly, becoming yet another Silk song that's added to various sex playlists. "Tonight" was a much bigger commercial success than their second album, restoring Silk to commercial greatness. The group went back into the studio soon after and followed it up with 2001's "Love Session" album, which didn't excite fans as much as "Tonight", but still pleased their core audience and cracked no. 2 on the Billboard R&B and Hip Hop albums chart. However, that album is bittersweet, as it marks the last album from the group as a 5 man collective.

Since 2001, the group has seen a member leave(to pursue other ventures), a few  albums as a 4 man group(2003's "Silktime" on their own independent label, as well as a 2006 covers album), along with the announcement last year of a reunion album titled "Day and Night", which is still in production. Whether that reunion album materializes or not, Silk's legacy is solidified as one of the greatest groups of the 1990s. Pay homage to greatness.



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