Emotive lyricisms and silky vocals are just a few elements from IDEALOGY, the debut album from new R&B sensation, IDEAL, on Virgin Records Urban. Along with these traits come an unmatched authenticity and originality, which helps Houston's J-Danté, Maverick, PZ and Swab emerge as major players.
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Holding the best R&B tradition closely to their hearts, IDEAL developed an early appreciation for such artists as Frankie Beverly & Maze, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers and the Time, as well as more contemporary artists such as Take 6, Boyz II Men and Jodeci. In between football and basketball practice, they found time to scan their parents' old 45's for those oldies, but goodies. "We are influenced heavily by the sounds of yesterday and today. The traditional soul brings character to our music," states Maverick.
Honing their craft in church choirs and high-school talent shows, IDEAL was eager to emulate their music idols by striving to bring integrity to rhythm and blues music from their hearts. Unlike most teenagers, who were laboring over college applications, IDEAL was being scouted by local producers and managers for a recording contract. Considering their options, they decided to stay focused on a major label deal. Their relentless patience and persistence proved not to be in vain, when they were introduced to Virgin Records Sr. Vice President Eric Brooks, who signed them immediately. At the ripe ages of 19 (J-Danté), 21 (Maverick), 20 (Swab) and 21 (PZ), the group would dedicate the next few months to create the core of their album, IDEALOGY.
Capturing the essence of sensuality, urban drama and sultry eccentricity, IDEAL delivers a soliloquy of emotions dealing with love, broken hearts, the dating game, pure lust, and infatuation. Blending their talents as accomplished producers, songwriters and musicians, they coupled with various and sundry hitmakers to bring their dream to fruition. Among those lending a hand is Noontime's Bryan Michael Cox, who contributes the debut single "Get The Hell On," a poignant appeal to women to start returning love and to treat their men with respect and dignity. Multi-platinum producer Teddy Bishop (Montell Jordan) delivers "Things You Can't Do," an up-tempo and boastful tale of a modern day The Graduate - a story of a young man being "wooed" by an older woman. Teddy also provides a perfect summertime infectious groove with "There's No Way," laced with live orchestra strings. Singer/songwriter/producer Joe delivers a cherished love-at-all-costs ballad, "Jealous Skies," while hitman J-Dub (Kelly Price, Faith Evans and Puffy) scores "Tell Me Why," an emotional ballad co-written by IDEAL. Laney Stewart (K-Ci & JoJo) of RED ZONE unleashes "I Don't Mind," a funky midtempo track, characterized as a "ghetto ballad." Bryan Michael Cox drops another hot joint, "Creep INN," a sensuous, seductive love song, asking the ladies to join them at a rendezvous spot for "nothin' but love." "You have to set the mood with this track," points out J-Danté. "Turn off the lights in the booth, light a few candles and imagine the studio as a hot spot for our most sacred fantasies." Babyface's prodigy, Jon John, produces two tracks, "Get Down" and "Break Your Plans."
Another track, "Never Let You Go," is an emotionally packed ballad written by Maverick dealing with a love so great you can't let go, "you'll just lay down and die." "We write from the heart," says Maverick. "That means writing about our experiences and ones we're close to. It makes for a real picture, and the fans can hear this in our music." "We also try and deal with everyday situations for most people," adds Swab. Hypnotic hooks and funky beats lend creativity to "All About You," an in-house groove produced by IDEAL's PZ and J-Danté's cousin, D.Scantz, via their newly formed production company, ABSTRACT. "Like most artists today, we enjoy being behind the scenes - the production aspect is important, because we can convey our vision in both capacities," notes PZ.
The diversity in IDEAL's personalities will be a fresh outlook in comparison to most contemporary R&B groups. Embodying the perfect recipe for every woman's fantasy, IDEAL consists of J-Danté, the playboy whose good looks rival his smooth tongue. The flygirls who want a "ruffneck" can savor the dark chocolate stylings of Swab. PZ is the boy next door, the lover who promises to take care of your heart. The shy and elusive Maverick comes alive with sexy moves and sensitive harmonies. "We, as a group, have different sides," concludes Maverick. "There are times when we put on our 'southern' charm, and other times when we're BAD. We want the world to see us as IDEAL men, embodying the essence of everyone's taste
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