112 Gets Its Groove Back
R&B quartet 112 sought to "get back to the essence of making great love songs" on its new album, "Pleasure & Pain," according to group member Daron.R&B quartet 112 sought to "get back to the essence of making great love songs" on its new album, "Pleasure & Pain," according to group member Daron. Due Tuesday (March 29) via Def Soul, the album is led by the Sean Garrett-penned single "U Already Know" featuring Foxy Brown, which is No. 19 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
The new album is the follow-up to 2003's "Hot and Wet," which has sold 380,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, compared to the 1.9-million selling 2001 release "Part III."
"'Hot & Wet' wasn't a bad album," Daron says. "But the choice of singles helped make the album not as successful as it should have been, and some of the imaging was off." Thus, the new set "is more R&B and heavier on ballads," Daron offers. "It's a lovemaking album. However, it still has the hip-hop elements we're known for."
Looking at the success of 112's previous melding of R&B and hip-hop ("Peaches & Cream," "It's Over Now"), Garrett focused on the group's strong urban appeal by writing "very descriptive" songs, he says. "They're grown men now; women think they're sexy." Besides Garrett and Daron, the slate of producers includes Warryn Campbell, Mario Winans and Jermaine Dupri. Guest performers include Dupri, T.I. and Three 6 Mafia.
Daron and Slim feel the recent surge in R&B's popularity will work in their favor. "When you listen to this album, it will remind you of our first [1996's "112"], which had substantial ballads," Slim says. "With the type of R&B music that's being put out there, we feel like our time is right now."