Long Time No See
By: Sylvia White
All I have to say is Chico, Chico, Chico!!! As the youngest of the famous DeBarge clan, this young man is beginning his life anew and with that newness he is also adding his name to a list of young, innovative and talented newcomers. His first solo release entitled, "Long Time No See" is one that is beginning to take the R&B world by storm.
On this new album Chico tells various stories of his time as a released man from the grip of the prison system. Yes, can you believe it, this innocent young thing has actually served a little time. The charge of his crime, I could care less about, his sound is all that matters to me. His album is composed of many really catchy and inviting songs that almost require you to continue to listen to what he has to say. Though it seems on some tracks that Chico is still attempting to find his voice, he does make up for whatever may lack by giving off a bit of funk with his material.
Some of his more notable songs on his 14 track album are "Love Still Good", "Iggin' Me", "Virgin", "No Guarantee", "Superman", "One Love" and the title track, "Long Time No See".
On "Love Still Good", his second release, Chico makes you wanna scream from the seductive trance that this tune puts you under. It is like liquid how the melody as well as the instrumentation of this groove pours over your soul. Thus far, it is my favorite tune from the entire CD. On "Iggin Me", the first release off of the album, Chico tells a story of his heart's betrayal. It has a rather predominate "organ" effect in the mixed sound. As well, a funky smooth feel with a memorable catch phrase. It is one of two collaborations with big brother El who, from his own personal solo career, came in to give baby brother a little assistance.
As for the track entitled, "Virgin", yes, the songs premise is exactly what it says. In this song, Chico tells his "virgin", all that he wants to have with her and their first shared experience. Not only due to the title will you remember this song, but as well you will remember the lyrics, melody and Chico's motivation behind it's name.
Track # 5, "No Guarantee", Chico shows us his deep, brooding side. This song has a cool beat and the lyrics are so honest that you can't help but like the tune. It tells of this young man as he comes home and finds out the struggle of beginning again. He tells the one he loves that with his life there are no guarantees, just day to day survival. On track # 11, "Superman", Chico goes on to tell of how he does things like a Superman. It is quite inviting, enough so, that it certainly made me believe of his "superhero powers" in the area of love and seduction. It has a daring yet hesitant drum effect as well as an interesting repetitive beat.
Then comes my second favorite song as well as the second song that brother El lends a hand to, it is entitled, "One Love". This jam is so funky that it seems these two put the "F" in funk on this track. And to top it off, you get the opportunity to hear El's sweet vocals in the background, which is a bonus to all of us El DeBarge fans. It's hand clap sequence is guaranteed to make you get off your tail and shake what yo' momma gave you. FUNKY INDEED!!! The final song and title track to the album, "Long Time No See" is a mid-tempo groove. It has a nice influence on it. It demonstrates Chico's smooth funk side with it's subtle beat.
The album as a whole gets a strong 8 out of 10. As I said, once Chico finds his vocals on all of his tracks, then perhaps his 8 will turn into a 9. He definitely has the makings of a true artist. For his first solo endeavor this is quite good. I have a feeling that if he stays true to his sound and continues to make music that he feels good about then he can't go wrong. He's got the sensual funk for sure and honest lyrics that listeners can appreciate. Til later. Smooches Kids!