You, Me and He

Mtume

You, Me and He

The band’s last album before breaking up in 1986, You, Me and He wisely capitalized on “Juicy Fruit,” Mtume’s smash hit from the previous year, which was easily one of the most brilliant songs of the '80s. “C.O.D. (I’ll Deliver)” is a blatant recapitulation of “Juicy Fruit,” but you won’t find anyone complaining about that. The beat is as leisurely as it is steely, and it possesses the listener in such an insidious way that you halfway expect it to go on forever. Nothing else on the album matches “Juicy Fruit” for pure perfection, but the theme is more or less continued on “I Simply Like,” “Prime Time,” and “To Be or Not Bop That Is the Question,” a slew of tracks that presage the impending supremacy of West Coast hip-hop. If Mtume had an overarching strength, it was their ability to build pauses into their beats. In an era where people expected pop songs to be unrelentingly busy, “You Are My Sunshine” and “You, Me and He” courageously let the drama build through the use of slow motion and negative space.

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