One listen to any urban radio station, and you’ll quickly notice one thing: every station sounds exactly the same. Same songs, same news stories, same snarky radio personalities. The same.
Radio, once a bastion of new music, has become little more than a corporate marketing tool used to promote the same 25 artists, playing and replaying their songs until they inevitably get stuck in your head. Apparently, it works. The songs that get radio play move units, and the songs that move units get radio play. It’s a chicken-egg situation that leaves some of us wishing for more.
Many savvy and choice-hungry music lovers have found other avenues to satisfy their thirst for good music. The Internet is the gateway to discovering new talent and finding rare grooves, but sometimes, you just want that old thing back. Sometimes you long to hear the comforting voices of your favorite singers, the ones you turned to to get you over that break up, or set the mood with your new lover.
With the radio stuck on the same 25 artists, CLUTCH got a little nostalgic. Here we present five singers we wished would make a comeback to add a little substance back onto our radios.
Carl Thomas: Carl Thomas burst onto the scene in 2000 with the break-up anthem, “I Wish,” and had everyone from you and your homegirls, to Jay-Z, singing along. His soulful debut album, Emotional, was filled with ballads that talked more about love than just having sex. He released two more albums, 2004’s Let’s Talk About It and 2007’s So Much Better, but has since dropped off the scene. When the lights are low and emotions run high, you need a little Carl Thomas in your life. And we hope he comes back real soon.
Tamia: Tamia first put a move on our hearts way back in 1995 as one of Quincy Jones’ newest protégées. The Canadian-born songstress is not only stunning, she can saaaang. Her range? Five octaves. Her specialty? Songs so sexy you want to curl up with your boo (or find one). Tamia turned out hits like “So Into You” and “Officially Missing You” before going MIA on urban radio. Word on the street is she’s formed a super group with fellow singing divas Kelly Price and Deborah Cox called The Queen Project, and is working on a new album. We can’t wait.
D’Angelo: D’Angelo’s career is legendary. There is no need to talk up his talents; one listen and you’ll know why he’s been on minds of music fans for the last ten years. Even though he’s only dropped two studio albums, Brown Sugar and Voodoo, D’angelo’s been keeping his name on the tips of tongues by collaborating with everyone from Mark Ronson to Slum Village to The Roots. D’Angelo is a perfectionist and doesn’t mind making his fans wait for it. And judging by his past work, it’ll be so worth it.
Tweet: Hailing from the South, Tweet’s debut album, Southern Hummingbird, was filled with aural pleasure. Like her name suggests, her voice flutters effortlessly over bass-heavy tracks and acoustic melodies. With hits like, “Call Me” and “Oops (Oh My),” it seemed like Tweet was here for the long haul. But label issues and Internet leaks have thwarted her comeback. With just three albums under her belt, Tweet made an indelible print on her fans who are clamoring for some new material. According to her Facebook and Twitter accounts, the wait may be over soon.
112: Ok, so they’re a group, but they were a damn good one. These ATL boys had a string of hits in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, this quartet had everyone singing of love . . . and sex . . . all at once. With equal parts charisma, talent, and full-on swag, 112 put out five albums before disbanding. But all hope isn’t lost, the group is rumored to be working on a yet untitled reunion album due out next year. Fingers crossed.