Review: 702 – Star

702’s 2003 album Star went fairly unnoticed and was also very much overlooked by many fans of R&B/soul music. The album has that futuristic electronic sound with production from She’kspere and Pharell Willams of The Neptunes which was perfectly suitable for its time period.

Motown dropped the ball on 702 by failing to promote the Star album at all. Star had bad sales due to lack of promotion and advertising. No wonder the album failed to chart on the BillBoard. Yet somehow despite no promotion, the album was nominated for a Soul Train Lady Of Soul Award for Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year – Group, Band or Duo in 2003.

Now if Motown had focused on promoting this 702 album properly and not just putting it out there, then Star would actually have been a platinum success and not just another R&B/soul album that was overlooked and overshadowed by other female groups. The absence of Missy Elliott and her production sound is probably another factor as well. All in all, 702’s Star is a decent effort with only 2 skippable tracks that are worth skipping.

Let Your Hair Down sounds very off key and out of tune. The instrumentation overlaps the vocals too much. The musical notes are very off key along with the signing. When you’re up in the club and don’t wanna get crunk, let ya hair down. But don’t listen to the song. Overall the song is terrible. It was a terrible way to start off the album with. Honestly the song Star should have been chosen as the first song instead of Let Your Hair Down. This song is a definite skip.

Let Your Hair Down reminds us to just have a good time. Just relax and let the tension unwind. Quit stressing your looks and rock to this hook. Your attitude ain’t even wanted. The chorus is simple.: “When you’re up in the club or wanna get crunk/let ya hair down”

Star is the title track and hit song for this album. Pharell Williams of The Neptunes produced Star with his futuristic polished electronic production. Breakdown of the beats are smooth and epic. Honestly this song should have been a smash hit! It’s that good!

Star charted at #49 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Chart. In 2003, Star reached #3 on the charts for US R&B. Star also got nominated for a Soul Train Lady Of Soul Award for Best R&B/Soul Single – Group, Band or Duo. Sadly this song remains very much overlooked to this day.

702 warned ladies about the trouble a man can cause with the song Trouble. Trouble is that joint you’ll keep coming back to due to its rhythmic Latin acoustic guitar which gives off a vibe of peril and uncertainty. That rhythmic Latin acoustic guitar is what makes the song catchy and attracts people to keep on coming back to listen to this song. The song Trouble has a Latin music feel to it due to usage a single acoustic guitar. A single acoustic guitar resonates with the reverb echo. The beat is smooth. Trouble contains excerpts from Kool & The Gang – Jungle Boogie.

702 warned ladies about the trouble a man can cause with these lyrics in Verse 2. “You don’t know if he finds just what he’ll do/So I’m telling you that there’s a lot to lose/If he knew what we did, he’d act a fool/So let’s be smart about this, baby”

[Verse 2]
You don’t know if he finds just what he’ll do
So I’m telling you that there’s a lot to lose
If he knew what we did, he’d act a fool
So let’s be smart about this, baby

Feelings is a song about how infatuation gets people doing strange things. Infatuation can have people loosing control. You have a person you love who is on your mind. You can’t live without them and you can’t let them go. Maybe you should just face it. This can’t be circumstance. You’re in disbelief so many feelings. Love deserves a chance. Feelings. Nothing but these funny feelings. Everything about them is appealing. You feel these emotions so drastically. You feel infatuation.

Rhyming scheme for some of the lyrics in this songs are appropriately fitting. Analyze the lyrics below to get a better understanding.:

Only you on my mind
And it’s hard to define
What makes me into you
Just like Venus and Mars
We were written in the stars
Thinkin’ we should continue

Come & Knock On My Door uses such infectious beats and hypnotic chords that will put you in a trance. Those beats definitely scream 2000s. Those beats have a late 90s/early 2000s sound and vibe to them.

You can tell the song was written during the early 2000s due to the lingo used. Notice how the term “buggin'” is used.

You got me buggin’ buggin’
For you I’m always open
More kisses and more huggin’
Lovin’ everything you do to me
No matter what the time is
You are always invited
On me, I’ll never fight it
Don’t take me wrong
Just wanna turn you on

I Still Love You is a love song which explains how everyone needs love and affection. Everybody needs someone by their side. Love is so simple. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. This should be known by the common person. Everybody needs a person for them to love and need. That is what this whole love song is all about.

I Still Love You was another 702 song which was produced by Pharell Williams of The Neptunes. Pharell was killing it with those signature thick beats of his. He was in his prime. The song I Still Love You was featured on the Malibu’s Most Wanted soundtrack. The song I Still Love You samples DeBarge – I Like It.

Reality is another 702 cut with all the members singing their asses off. The song explains how the members of 702 don’t have time for playing around as they are dealing with reality of being stars. People want to live the life of fame and gloriousness. They see the fame but they don’t know the price of being a star. You don’t know what the members of 702 go through. So they are singing this song for you.

Kameelah Williams ain’t got no time to play around. It ain’t about just hangin’ out. She’s got so much more to do. It ain’t worth bein’ with you. Irish is staying focused on herself. She ain’t gotta please nobody else. She will do what’s best for her. That’s the way it has to be.

Lyrics to the chorus explain how people want to live the life of fame and gloriousness. They see the fame but they don’t know the price. Lyrics to the chorus explain that the realities of a star ain’t that easy. It’s more than just traveling. Photoshoots, makeup, videos. It’s the truth. No sleep. Missing your men.

[Chorus: 702]
Some people think they wanna live this life
They see the fame but they don’t know the price
It ain’t that easy
I need you to feel me
Realities of a star

702 used much more in-depth songwriting in the song Certified. For example, their verse are much longer than their normal verses on their other songs. The songwriters did some phenomenal with the songwriting.

[Verse 1]
Here we go again, you’re about to cry
I’m about to listen to another nigga’s lie
Every time you call, you want good advice
And every time you ask I tell you everything’s all right
First you let it go, then gave him one more chance
This time number makes number three, it’s a different circumstance
Women on the side, babies mamas too
This time I can’t hold back, I think he’s running game on you

If you don’t know where your man is
And he left you home with both of your kids
Girl, your mans a ho, a playa, certified ho
Ho, ho, ho
If he can’t call home to explain
And all a sudden everything has changed
Girl, your mans ho, a playa, certified ho

[Verse 2]
You say your man gets off from work at nine
So why’d he turn his cell phone off ’til one clock at night?
I’m trying to tell you like a friend
That if you think smell fish, you do girlfriend
He’s been cheating on you
Don’t take a blind man to see
That you’re just holding on for what you wish that this could be
But see, every man’s got his own set of rules
Lines that he won’t cross if he’s being true to you

And I don’t want
See, I don’t want to come across
Like I’m coming down on all of my playas
But if you got a family waiting at home
You should be there, you should there
This goes out to all of my ladies and the fellas
Waiting for someone they love to come home
If they’re not there and they should be there
Then it’s certified (Certified), he’s a certified ho

Places is a good slow jam to play at night or during the middle of the day to your lover. The beats are thin, lush, and quite quiet. This song is a hit or miss depending on how you’re feeling.

Stringing Me Along is about the men who did the members of 702 dirty in their lives. The song is aimed at men who mislead their ladies and lead them on by stringing them along. The song is kind of similar to Lil Mo – Doing Me Wrong.

The members of 702 gave 100% of their love to the men they loved. And they gave nothing in return. The only time they seemed concerned is when they wanted to lay up. They kept selling them dream after dream. But after so many dreams deferred. The members of 702 saw their men for what they really are. And that was men who really didn’t care. How can something feel so right really be so wrong? Why were they stringing 702 along for the ride? They can’t let them get back inside. They can’t let those men back into their lives.

By blowin’ up their pagers and phones day and night. Fat chance. The members of 702 turned a negative thing into something positive. They can live without the likes of those men around.

You can tell the song is quite dated by reading and listening to these lyrics to Verse 2.

[Verse 2]
And now you’re wantin’ to make it right?
Blowin’ up my pager and phone day and night
Like I should up and let you in
To my open arms again
I don’t think so, not a chance
I am stronger now thanks to you
I’ve turned a negative thing into something positive
Now I know that I can live
Without the likes of you around

No Way uses such infectious beats and hypnotic chords that will put you in a trance. Those beats, along with the production, definitely scream 2000s. Those guitar chords are what make the song sound hypnotic and put you in a trance.

Blah Blah Blah Blah was the futuristic single of the album which used 2000s style production which was electronic production. Notice the buzzed out synths and pads. This song is a hit or miss depending on how you’re feeling.

Betcha She is a Betcha She Don’t Love You type of song about ladies who do not really love their men. You can definitely feel the pop and R&B vibe in this song along with the production. Notice the 2000s style production which uses electronic production.

Better Day (Ghetto Girl) is the story about a ghetto girl living in a ghetto world. The song has a mood of sadness hence the vibe. The song itself has a poetic vibe. It feels as if you are reading a poem from a poetry book when you listen to this 702 song. The song deals with pain of living in the ghetto.

She is against the world alone by herself. Problems in her ordinary life make her want to run away and hide. She can never get it right. She is surrounded by pain and empty dreams. Sadness and despair. She’s so alone living in the ghetto.

Like the seasons when they change, nothing ever stays the same. So she prays. She is praying for a better day. There’s gotta be a better day and a better way. She is trying to find a better way. Finally she had enough.

See many times she didn’t have a dime when the bills would multiply and keep growing. She has even contemplated suicide. This ghetto girl could not rely on her mother for emotional support or financial support. Her father sexually abused her way too much for to go back to him. That is what these lyrics mean, “And momma never had that special touch Her daddy touched her way too much”

She was a little ghetto child and then she turned her life around. At the end of her song is where she turned her life around. She found another way.

Jealousy is a song which deal with people whom are jealous. Theme for this song is jealousness.

People who are jealous don’t want others to be happy. They’re just wishing they could be them. They’re just wishing they could be them you. Or someone else. Some people are full of envy and jealousy.

The first verse sums up jealousy very well.

(Verse 1)
They say you’re bad for me
They say you’re no good
Don’t want us happy
I say it’s jealousy
Could be me

They don’t even know you. Watching you every move as if they follow you. They have too much extra time on their hands. Really they don’t know what they’re talking about.Don’t even look at them as friends. More or less acquaintances. They’re so quick to backstab you. It’s happened to me many times. Their attempts trying to turn me against you are terrible.

I don’t see why they can’t just leave us alone instead of always trying to break us up. You’d think they wanna find a love of their own. But they don’t.

I’m Wit It is the mid tempo closer of the album which is just beautiful. The beats are very subtle and gentle. Not to mention lush. 702 killed it with their vocals as always.

I rate this album 4/5****!

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Writer, narrator, research archivist, and content curator for Bout Dat Online.

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