Sunday 10 March 2013

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Honeyz

Remember when Mariah was kidnapped by gangsters with bad breath and Destiny's Child was stranded on a desert island? In this weekly feature, I take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what they’re up to nowadays. Previous posts have focussed on Destinys Child's debut single No, No, No and their live comeback appearance at the Superbowl Halftime Show this year, as well as the top 5 RnB covers by Youtube sensation VanJess and Jay-Z's Top 5 guest raps. 

Today's post is all about 90s girl group Honeyz, who infamously imploded more than once before their career finally ended just a few short years after the release of their first single. The girls were set to take the world by storm with a string of top 10 hits and a contract with Def Jam but unfortunately, it seems that it was never meant to be. It's a shame because the Honeyz had genuine talent and were one of the few girl groups we've ever had in the UK who could even begin to rival US RnB superstars like Destiny's Child and TLC. Since the groups demise, past members of the Honeyz have reunited as part of the ITV 'Big Reunion' show and are now successfully touring the UK once more. With all the current interest in their past hits and questions about their future, now is the perfect time to look back at some of the Honeyz biggest singles to see why there were so popular in the first place. 

Debut album 'Wonder No.8' came out in 1998 and became the Honeyz only official studio release after internal conflicts within the group led to them being dropped by their label. After Heavenli Abdee first left, 'Wonder No.8' was reissued a year later with new songs and re-recorded vocals. I personally love both versions of the album though and the quality of single releases didn't dip with the addition of new member Mariama Goodman. 

First single 'Finally Found' was the Honeyz most successful release and it's definitely one of their best. The song is a perfect introduction to the smooth laid back vocals and sweet sex appeal that the group became known for. 

The first single also included some awesome b-sides that showed off a more uptempo side to the Honeyz, which is showcased brilliantly on the track 'In The Streets'. 

'End of the Line' was the perfect follow up track and it became the groups longest charting single in the UK. This beautiful RnB ballad is my favourite Honeyz track of all and it makes me sad to think of what they could have done had they not been dropped so soon in their careers. 

To mix things up, here's another b-side from the Honeyz called 'Keep Me Hanging On', which was also included on the album 'Wonder No.8'. It's not their best song by any means but it's a good album track and is worth a quick listen.

Third single 'Love of a Lifetime' was the last release to feature founding member Heavenli Abdee before she first left. I love the sound of the Honeyz harmonising together on the chorus and it just sounds so... dammit, is there another word for 'sweet' I could use? Where's a thesaurus when you need one?

The first single from the 'Wonder No.8' re-release featured new member Mariama Goodman but you wouldn't notice much difference just by listening to 'Never Let You Down'. I'm not sure exactly if that's a good or bad thing but either way, the groups fourth overall single release was another top 10 hit for the girls and is definitely worth checking out. Just ignore the horrendously cheap looking video though.

Fifth single 'Won't Take It Lying Down' saw the Honeyz pick up the tempo with a pop/RnB vibe and a futuristic looking video which I LOVED! How mental was that weird headpiece??? I really wanted to share the video with you as it's one of their best but for some reason, I can't find it anywhere, so you'll have to make do with a CD:UK performance for now. Seriously though, how good was CD:UK!?

Guess what happened next. Wait for it... yep. The new member left and in a bizarre turn of events, founding member Heavenli returned for the release of the groups sixth single 'Not Even Gonna Trip'. The track was included on the 'Nutty Professor II' soundtrack and should have been a huge hit but for some reason, the song pretty much bombed, despite the high production values and sassy chorus. Also watch out for the shockingly poor acting at the beginning. Love it ha!

Sixth single 'I Don't Know' was intended to be the lead single for the groups sophomore album 'Harmony', but it ended up being the last official Honeyz video ever released. It's a nice enough song but I think 'I Don't Know' was a bit disappointing compared to their previous release and so it's easy to see why this could have led to the group being dropped. It's still worth a watch though and the girls look great.

'Talk To The Hand' was touted as a second single from 'Harmony' before the Honezy were dropped and it's a shame that this wasn't released before 'I Don't Know' as its not actually a bad song. Yes it's a little bit dated but at least its more exciting and I strangely like all the cheesy mirrors and stuff in what turned out to be the last video the group ever filmed.

Over the following decade, the Honeyz made numerous attempts to return to the spotlight but they remained pretty much forgotten until they reunited as part of ITV's 'The Big Reunion'. I have no idea yet what's next for the Honeyz but in the meantime, I found a short clip of them performing live on their new tour. Check out the girls singing their signature hit 'Finally Found' live on stage. Sorry about the quality guys.

What's your favourite Honeyz track? And what do you think of their reunion? Will it last? Let me know your thoughts by commenting, liking and sharing below. And come back next week for another edition of 'Whatever Happened To RnB?'

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