En Vogue’s “Funky Divas.”

Released: March 24th, 1992

Genre: R&B

Label: eastwest (subsidiary of Atlantic Records)

Producers: Thomas McElroy & Denzil Foster.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

EV4 will forever reign supreme for remarkable harmonies and for their fashion sense.

Their debut album “Born To Sing” was certified platinum & was supported by the popular and iconic hit “Hold On.”

The group’s follow up album “Funky Divas” was no sophomore slump. Released in the spring of 1992, initial reviews for the album were not so stellar, but has since been praised for its vocal work, stellar production & how it paved the way for groups like Destiny’s Child & TLC, who released their debut album that same year.

With elements of R&B, new jack swing, hip-hop, blues, heavy metal and doo-wop music, Funky Divas showcases the group’s versatility as musicians even further from their debut record.

Funky Divas debuted at number one on the R&B charts and is their best selling album to date, selling over 3.5 million copies. I will try my best to explain reasons as to why “Funky Divas” is one of the most defining albums in the past 30 years. Ladies & gentlemen I present to you: En Vogue’s “Funky Divas.”

This Is Your Life

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

The intro to the album kicks off with a skit from the ladies before they go perform the song live. The message behind the song resonates with me because you truly have to live life your own way! Led by Terry, the song sets the mood for the album.

My Lovin (You’re Never Gonna Get It)

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

Maxine & Dawn came to play ZERO games on My Lovin’. sampling James Brown’s “The Payback,” “My Lovin'” is a gem from the 90s, giving us classic 60s girl group harmonies with bad ass lyrics telling men to kick rocks! You’ll never get this loving again. During its period on the charts, it was number one! That’s how you kick off an era, okay! The song was sampled in Ice Cube’s Wicked.

Hip Hop Lover featuring Wayne Wayne

Written by Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy & Wayne Jackson.

Hip Hop Lover is a whole bop! One of my favorite songs from the album, the song has Maxine & Terry singing lead and rejecting the young boy’s advances at first and eventually caved in.

Free Your Mind

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

Prejudice, wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go!

“Free Your Mind, & the rest will follow.” The girls challenged society as a whole with racism, sexism, and prejudice topics, trying to show everyone to free their minds and open it up. The rock influenced song was nominated for 2 Grammys.

Desire

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

A sultry moody quiet storm/ jazz number from the girls is a gem on this album y’all need to appreciate more of!

Giving Him Something He Can Feel

Written by Curtis Mayfield

So much joy for us, it seems. So much hope for material things. Are they only in my dreams?

Dawn had to let the girls know what time it is! The girls paid homage to the 1976 cult classic “Sparkle,” which was a story of three sisters eager to find success in the music industry, but go through the path of romance, tragedy and triumph.

The soundtrack to Sparkle was all done by the late & incomparable Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin. The girls covered this song, & hooked on your love..& did an amazing job. It’s almost reminiscent to the original, & we love to see it.

It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings

Written by Wayne Jackson, Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

A hip hop number, “It Ain’t Over” has Dawn singing lead, Maxine singing the chorus and Cindy & Terry singing BV. The lyrical content has Dawn speaking on the ladies and the misconceptions about them.

Give It Up, Turn It Loose

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

An inspirational HIT! In reference to the James Brown’s song “Give It Up, Turnit a Loose,” the song begins with dialogue of them singing “Yesterday,” and has Dawn off cause she’s thinking about “Kevin.”

Maxine then sings lead by giving Dawn a pep talk, convincing her friend that she doesn’t need a man that doesn’t love her like she loves him. “Give It Up” was also a top twenty hit!

Yesterday

Written by Paul McCartney

Yesterday is a cover of The Beatles’ 1965 version of the same name. The haunting song of lost love is has Cindy singing lead and perfectly might I add!

Hooked on Your Love

Written by Curtis Mayfield

The second cover from the Sparkle soundtrack was one of my favorites. Giving the ballad a more uptempo feel, the ladies give the cover justice with their immaculate harmonies.

Love Don’t Love You

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

The fifth and final single from the album is about a woman who no longer has her lover there for her. The top 40 hit has lead vocals from Terry and Cindy.

What Is Love

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

Originally planned to be included on EV’s Remix to Sing compilation album as a new song, the plan was scrapped and added to Funky Divas. The dance bop includes an intro of them singing the chorus to their debut single “Hold On,” & asking what is love.

Thanks (Prayer)

Written by Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy

The album ends with an interlude/outro of a prayer. Don’t you miss albums like this? The girls don’t give us interludes of gospel harmonies or nothing of the sort!

Funky Divas was no sophomore slump for the group. En Vogue stayed with their initial roots, but had the range to appeal to audiences outside of the world of R&B. En Vogue will go down as one of the most influential girl groups of all time. if there is an album of theirs you are looking to get into, this is a great start. -MJ.

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