I’ve seen it said, in several places, that the 1990s was the last great era for rhythm & blues. That may or may not be true (I don’t believe it is—there is still good RnB being made, but you won’t find much of it on what passes for commercial radio). But it’s definitely true that the 90s are looked upon fondly by the genre’s fans, particularly the early to middle part of the decade.
In my musical adventures, I came across two covers of Shai’s “If I Ever Fall In Love.” The first of these is from Pentatonix. Forgive me, but I didn’t even know who Pentatonix were until very recently. I have since learned that they were the winners of an NBC show called The Sing-Off, but I’d never even seen the show. But after hearing this, now I am a fan. These people can go, or blow, or sang. Whatever. Their version (with an assist from Jason Derulo) sounds like this:
As a point of reference, Shai’s versions (first the a cappella, then the remix):
The second of the covers is from Ernie Halter, who has actually recorded an album of 90s R&B covers, all of them done in an acoustic style. It’s called Acoustic Throwback — Nineties Rhythm & Blues. Some of the songs included are Ginuwine’s Pony, Marc Morrison’s Return Of The Mack, and BlackStreet’s No Diggety. His is a bit more laid back than the Pentatonix version, but it still sounds good to me:
For my money, they are both good, but the Pentatonix version sounds very close to the original (save for the percussion that comes in on the second verse and the increased energy it brings), while Halter takes it to a chill type place. I like them both, but the originals still shine.
As always, any comments on any of these tracks are welcomed.