Boyz II Men came on the scene 20 years ago with their debut album, Cooleyhighharmony. That’s right: 20 years ago. To put that in a pop-culture timeline: that’s three years before Justin Bieber was born, and seven years before Destiny’s Child released their first album.
That’s important to note because this year not only are the guys releasing a new album, the aptly titled Twenty, they also appear on Beyoncé’s “Countdown” and will be featured on Justin Bieber’s Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe . In addition to all the love from this new crop of pop stars, Boyz II Men enthusiasts should enjoy their latest endeavor.
Twenty is a mix of eight old-school classics, like “End of the Road,” as well as 12 new tracks. That’s 20 songs, for those keeping count.
“Twenty is our latest effort,” Wanya Morris explained to MTV News. “It consists of the span of 20 years of our career. It’s been seven years since we did an album with our own music; it felt like it was time to put our efforts and our maturity and all of the things we gained through the 20 years on this album. We’re trying our best to transcend time, but at the same time maintain our integrity and allow people to see the maturity as well.”
Nathan Morris admits that while they’re not the fresh-faced kids they were two decades ago, they aren’t that different from the rookies who declared “Motownphilly” a thing. Or, at least their music hasn’t strayed much from that R&B sound that made them famous.
“Music is who we are. Our concepts may be different; obviously, it’s 20 years later, [and] we’ve grown. But the music itself is the constant,” Nathan said. “It’s the only thing that has really kept us here for 20 years. The concept of music is still the same, but what we write about and what we think about nowadays is a little different. We’re a little older, but the main objective is still all about love.”
In the end, the men, who know a thing or two about performing love songs both happy and sad, hope to capture that spirit again. “I think we’re most excited for people to hear the whole album,” Wanya added. “We have a lot of different new songs and styles that will actually show the growth of Boyz II Men. At the same time, we still kept the same vibrations, the same integrity. Nate’s idea, and all of our idea, is just keep it love and try and be ambassadors. We might not do it all that well, but we love love.”
What’s your favorite classic Boyz II Men jam? Tell us below!