What does the best-selling R&B group of all time do to follow up the worldwide success of their Grammy-nominated album, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA?
What comes next for a four-time Grammy-winning act that is a global concert attraction, that has sold over 60 million recordings, and that will begin its 20th anniversary celebration in 2010?
For Boyz II Men, the answer can be summed up in a single word: Love.
Love: The new album by Boyz II Men, set for release on November 23, 2009 on Decca.
Love: A collection of timeless songs from the heart, one that spans multiple genres and generations.
Working once again with Motown producer Randy Jackson, Boyz II Men (Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman) bring their distinctive individual voices and peerless harmonies to bear on songs made famous by Bonnie Raitt, The Manhattans, Journey, The Spinners, Sam Cooke, the Beatles, and Cyndi Lauper. Boyz II Men weave these diverse selections together into an album-length symphony, one that flows seamlessly from an impassioned "I Can't Make You Love Me" through the shimmering a cappella sound of "Time After Time" to "When I Fall In Love," a beautiful reworking of a great American standard featuring Boyz II Men's special guest Michael Buble.
Love is the successor to Boyz II Men's Decca label debut, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA (Decca/Universal), released November 13, 2007. This collection of Detroit soul classics took the international music scene by storm to a degree that surprised even the group members. Motown rose to No. 27 on the Billboard Top 200 and to No. 6 on the trade's R&B Albums chart; proportionately, sales in Europe and other territories were even stronger than in the U.S. The album earned two Grammy Award nominations, for "Best R&B Album" and "Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals" (for the Stevie Wonder cover "Ribbons In The Sky") and sparked the release of Boyz II Men's first full-length live concert DVD, Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA - Live (Decca/Universal, released 12/9/07).
"The success of Motown definitely upped our visibility insofar as being able to tour more, in bigger venues, in more cities and more countries," says Shawn Stockman. "We were already an international touring company" - in a typical 12-month period, Boyz II Men performs 150-200 concerts around the world - "but Motown helped extend our reach even further."
"The beautiful thing was that we already had shows booked in Europe and Japan, as we've done almost every year for many years," Wanya Morris explains. "But performing the Motown songs was the best album promotion we could have done. And we felt the same effect back in the States as we did overseas, even in places like Billings, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah.
"The excitement that built up as we went along through 2008 was reminiscent of the old days. The audience doesn't forget, necessarily, but the audience sometimes needs to be reminded."
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