10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is prime ‘80s synth-funk and hip-hop from five Boston kids who’d soon become icons. Falsetto-voiced lead singer Ralph Tresvant shines, especially on electrofied video-arcade jams like “Popcorn Love” and the title track, while Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, and Michael Bivins rock the hip-hop cipher of “Pass the Beat.” Bell’s heartbreak underlines the teenage ballad “Is This the End,” and Bivins’ spoken-word performance adds a doo-wop touch to “Jealous Girl.” Future boy bands like New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys took notes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is prime ‘80s synth-funk and hip-hop from five Boston kids who’d soon become icons. Falsetto-voiced lead singer Ralph Tresvant shines, especially on electrofied video-arcade jams like “Popcorn Love” and the title track, while Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, and Michael Bivins rock the hip-hop cipher of “Pass the Beat.” Bell’s heartbreak underlines the teenage ballad “Is This the End,” and Bivins’ spoken-word performance adds a doo-wop touch to “Jealous Girl.” Future boy bands like New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys took notes.

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