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Review: Soul For Real – Candy Rain

Soul For Real’s Candy Rain album has that smoothness and sultry R&B/soul singing that one would expect for a R&B/soul album which was released in 1995. Cover songs mixed with all original songs are what this album is composed of.

Soul For Real’s Candy Rain album was the most overlooked and underrated albums 1995. Their debut album was overlooked due to the success of their contemporaries such as Jodeci, Next, Intro, Bell Biv Devoe, Boyz II Men, and ABC. Their contemporaries were far more successful and had more corporate backing than Soul For Real did. Soul For Real’s debut album just got lost in the mix of many sultry 90s R&B/soul albums. Sadly Soul For Real has faded into obscurity and heir legacy of crossover appeal seems to have forgotten. Nevertheless Soul for Real’s debut album had smooth, inspiring harmonies which ignite Candy Rain’s hottest moments.

Despite being lost in the mix of many sultry 90s R&B/soul albums, the album spawned two of the greatest R&B hits of 1995 which were Candy Rain and Every Little Thing I Do. Candy Rain was their most successful song to date and in 1995 as well. Candy Rain and Every Little Thing I Do are Soul For Real’s hottest song today. This led the album to sell over 5 million copies worldwide. The album ended up peaking at #23 on the US Billboard 200 charts and #5 on the R&B Albums charts. Their album went 2x platinum by September 1995.

Here are the reasons why Candy Rain was a blowout success and was properly promoted.

•Andre Harrell and Heavy D were very involved with the quartet. Both of them being “hands on” with the quartet is what led to their success.
•Andre Harrell knew how to properly promote Soul For Real due to their smoothness and radio friendly image. Soul For Real was known for their clean cut contemporary image. Their sound matched contemporary R&B/soul of the time their album was released.
•Having a good parent company for distribution, marketing, and promotion. MCA Records was the parent company of Uptown Records. MCA Records knew how to market and promote R&B acts better than Universal Records.
•The quartet knew how to sing and had crossover appeal.
•Heavy promotion of course which consisted of concerts and tours.

Candy Rain was regarded as the group’s signature song due to the number of samples this song used, smoothness, and sultry singing from the quartet. The bass line is just perfect. Candy Rain is a spectacular 90s R&B classic with that New Jack swing sound perfect enough to dance to. The song is so 90s. That is the beauty in Candy Rain.

Heavy D and the production team Trackmasters produced Candy Rain. Heavy D also wrote Candy Rain. That is why you can hear his work all over the song. Other members of the quartet wrote portions of Candy Rain as well. Jason sang the lead perfectly. You can hear and feel emotion as he is singing. Jase was the lead singer of Soul for Real. He is best known for his leads.

Candy Rain was their most successful song to date and in 1995 as well. The song Candy Rain became a #1 hit single. Candy Rain spent 3 weeks at #1 on the US R&B charts and peaked at #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. By the end of 1995, the song charted at #25. Soon enough, the song Candy Rain became an international success after being heavily aired on radio stations in other countries. The song was

Candy Rain samples the following songs: A Tribe Called Quest – Check the Rhime, Grover Washington, Jr. – Mr. Magic, Chocolate Milk – Girl Callin, Bill Withers Jr. – Ain’t No Sunshine, and Minnie Riperton – Baby, This Love I Have. Elements of the beat are sampled from Chocolate Milk – Girl Callin.

The song starts off with a few dreamy strings which will stick in the back of your mind and inside of your memory for a long time. These dreamy strings will leave a memorable impact in your mind. These dreamy strings soon drop into a New Jack swing styled beat and medium bass. The quartet soon starts singing a smooth beautiful harmony. After Verse 2, the song transitions into a beautiful piano break. A string break comes in after that. This continues as the track gradually fades out.

Now the song may sound very much similar to a Skittles commercial due to the title. However that is not the case.
The song is comparing this girl to these “candy-coated raindrops”. The quartet describes how sweet she is. She is as sweet as these “candy-coated raindrops” and such. Not everyone has ever seen or felt raindrops that/which tasted like candy before.

These lyrics to Verse 2 describes finding the perfect girl for you. “I never thought that I would find/All that I need in life/All I want, all I need now, I know/I know I found it in you, I found it in you”

The song Every Little Thing I Do is notable for the beats selection along with its upbeat tempo and nature. The quartet gives the song an edge of smoothness. Every Little Thing I Do is one of those old school, skating rink type of songs. It’s one of those songs to dance to.

Every Little Thing I Do was the second single off the Candy Rain album which received as much radioplay as the title track but was not as big of a hit. While not as big a hit as “Candy Rain”, the song just about as much radioplay in the same amount of time. Every Little Thing I Do charted at #11 on the Billboard R&B chart and #31 on the UK Singles chart. The single got platinum status worldwide.

The song samples The Gap Band – Outstanding and Chocolate Milk – Girl Callin.

The song starts off with a couple of stingy electronic synths which will stick in the back of your mind and be stuck inside of your memory for a long time. These stingy electronic synths song drop into rhythmic beats. These rhythmic beats are actually bongos that you can hear playing in the background. Notice the rhythmic beats and percussion.

The song is about no matter every little thing you do, the person you love or admire is always on your mind. They are on your mind and that drives you crazy. You can’t get over them. You think about that person all the time.

The chorus explains exactly subject matter for Every Little Thing I Do.

[Chorus]
You are on my mind
Every little thing I do, you’re on my mind
The way I feel lately, it’s driving me crazy
Every little thing I do, you’re on my mind
I can’t get over you, I think about you all the time

All In My Mind is about how getting a girl you want can’t really happen the way you anticipate. So it’s all in your mind. You’re wasting time. You should have known from the start. What made you think you would ever get a girl like her? Time and time again you find that girl is on your mind. The song All In My Mind samples The Crusaders – Covert Action.

If you want it, you can have it. Come and get it. That is what the song If You Want It is about. You’ve been thinking of giving her anything she want when she needs it. Because loving that girl comes easy. You want her badly to yourself. You’ve never met anybody like her. She makes you feel so good.

I Wanna Be Your Friend covers Stevie Wonder – Friend. You can hear some of that doo-wop sound and Motown sound in their lyrics and singing. Jason was the one singing the leads of course. Each member sings their own verse in this song.

Parts of the lyrics deal with reality of this world. Read some of these lyrics to understand.

Your world’s movin’ fast
But still ends up a bore

Hey boy don’t feel my world’s untrue
Yeah, I wanna talk to you
My world can be true
I wanna talk to you
Pick up my life at the table
Read about the way I could be
But I know I just ain’t able
So I read about the real me
Who can I blame
For the way I am
I ain’t never had one soul to help me
So I don’t give a…….

Gotta woman that lov’ me
Feed me beans ev’ry night
Twelve babies look up at me
Wid Big grey hungry eyes
Oh but I just can’t complain

Jason did a spectacular job on singing the chorus and hooks of Ain’t No Sunshine. You can hear and feel emotion as he is singing his leads. Even as a 13 year old kid, you already tell Jason had that soul touch inside of his voice. That’s how beautiful his singing is.

In fact the whole quartet does a spectacular job of covering Bill Withers Jr. – Ain’t No Sunshine. You don’t often hear an R&B group cover a song as perfectly as the original version which is exactly what Soul For Real had done on Ain’t No Sunshine. Soul For Real does a spectacular job in doing cover songs.

[Verse 1]
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
It’s not warm when she’s away
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And she’s always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

[Verse 2]
Wonder this time when she’s gone
Wonder if she’s going to stay
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away

Spend the Night is about a romantic night with a man, a woman, and a warm fireplace. So get warm and cozy. You’re invited.

The song takes place inside of a public place with a man and a woman who are a couple that dating. The man says to the woman, “Can we go? It’s getting crowded in here. I think it’s time we go home and spend the night alone.” So the man invites the woman to his house for a warm and cozy love making session.

He tells her, “Come on and spend the night with me tonight. We’ll be making sweet love by the fire place. So get warm and cozy.” The woman reluctantly agrees to this.

Here is what else he says to her. “Girl, now we’re alone. Let me take the time to show you how much you really turn me on. Come closer to me. I got some things on my mind. Why don’t we spend some time?”

I Don’t Know is about not knowing where to go next when you’re in a relationship.

You don’t know where to go as that person’s love has really got a hold of you. They hold on you tight. Can’t you see? You just don’t know where you’re going. You don’t know where to go without their love.

You are so lost and confused at times. You can’t even sleep at night. It’s so hard without that person in your life. It’s so hard to try to let go. You want this person to be back in your life. Of course you just want to get next to them, baby.

What stands out about this song is the break in singing which changes into an instrumental. Read the transcription to the lyrics of the song below to gain a better understanding.

I don’t know (I don’t know)
Where to go (Where to go)
Baby I, baby I, don’t know
I don’t know
Where to go (Where to go)
Baby I, baby I don’t know

[break in singing, instrumental]

I just want to get next to you
I just want to get next to you
I just want to get next to you
I just want to get next to you baby

Baby I, baby I, I don’t know (…know, know, know)

Soul For Real covers Patti LaBelle – If Only You Knew on If Only You Knew. The song takes place inside a fantasy of a shared romance.

A short 37 second piano interlude serves as the closer for the Candy Rain album. Of course the interlude is an instrumental. Heavy D made a great musical decision in choosing an instrumental song to serve as the closer for the album.

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

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