That’s My Jam is a weekly feature where one person from the Selective Hearing staff goes to wax poetic about music that is pivotal to their musical tastes. Whether that would be an album, a song, or anything in-between. We all had to start somewhere.
Release Date: March 26, 1996
- Ever Since You Went Away
- Stay With Me
- U Changed
- Light The Candles (Interlude)
- Nature Rise
- Touch of Soul
- A Sexy Solo (Interlude)
- All My Luv
- Goin On
- That’s How Love Goes
- Dog N’ Me
- Light The Candles (Reprise)
Art N’ Soul was an R&B group active in the mid-1990s. Consisting of Sam Bostic (vocals, bass), Rodney Lattrel Evans (keyboards) and Dion Riley (drums), the group secured a record deal with Big Beat Records with the assistance of Tony Toni Tone’s drummer Timothy Christian Riley.
In 1996 they released their debut (and only) album, Touch of Soul. It featured the singles Ever Since You Went Away and All My Luv. The album never charted on the Billboard 200 and only their first single charted on the Hot 100, peaking at #72.
The album didn’t sell well, and they were dropped from their label. By the end of 1999, the group had called it a day.
Why this album didn’t sell well is probably one of life’s great mysteries. It certainly has the undeniable charms that make 90’s R&B revered by those who grew up in that era. Smooth grooves, lush vocals and free of any pointless flavour-of-the-month rappers ruining the vibe.
Underappreciated is probably the best description one can come up with when describing Touch of Soul.
The majority of this album consists of tracks more suited for relaxed listening, a romantic evening or setting the mood for some bedroom boom-type activity. For those who remember, think of similar albums released in the same year, such as Keith Sweat’s self-titled fifth album or The Isley Brother’s Mission To Please.
Yes, some straight-grown-ass man/woman type of R&B people.
And the fact that the tracks on this album compare so well with those mentioned above makes me wonder why Art N’ Soul never connected with the masses. If I place this in today’s era of R&B, it would probably be just as big of a failure as when it was first released.
It’s probably a little too traditional for current listeners. But if you like D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Maxwell or Neo-Soul, this will be perfect to add to your collection. That’s if you can find the entire thing intact.
The album has been out of print for a while, so you may need to find alternative methods to get a hold of it. And no, I’m not sharing my copy.