SWV’s “New Beginning”

Released: April 23, 1996

Genre: R&B

Label: RCA

Producer: Allen “Allstar” Gordon Jr. ∙ Herb Middleton ∙ Brian Alexander Morgan ∙ The Neptunes ∙ Genard Parker ∙ Erick Sermon ∙ Daryl Simmons ∙ Chucky Thompson


SWV was one of the greatest girl groups of all time. Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson & Leanne “Lelee” Lyons became. one of R&B’s top selling acts from their new jack swing influenced debut album It’s About Time. The trio gained their first and only Hot 100 hit single with Weak, & had continued success with their classics like Right Here/Human Nature, Downtown, You’re Always On My Mind & Anything.

The trio released their second studio album New Beginning on RCA Records on April 23, 1996 by RCA Records. New Beginning takes a different approach from the group’s new jack swing vibes and went a more organic & smooth R&B type of vibe. I think the album solidified their stature as one of the best R&B groups with this album because it showcases their gospel influenced vocal harmonies.

Released nearly four years after their debut, New Beginning reintroduced the group to the world in so many ways that made people appreciate their flawless vocals on toned down production. It proved to be the ideal record to showcase maturity and their independence since they took on the role of songwriting some of their songs & you see it through each song.

New Beginning peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number 9 on the Billboard 200 charts respectively. The album has also since been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you SWV’s New Beginning!

New Beginning (Interlude)

Written by Cheryl Gamble ∙ Tamara Johnson ∙ Leanne Lyons ∙ Herb Middleton ∙ Gordon Chambers

No more time hesitation. Jesus is our inspiration.

SWV, New Beginning (Interlude,) 1996

The album opens up with the New Beginning (Interlude) where the group talks about a new beginning for them, love and making decisions.

***New Beginning (Interlude) was sampled for Access Denied by Ray BLK

You’re the One

Written by Cheryl Gamble ∙Tamara Johnson ∙Allen Gordon, Jr. ∙ Ivan Matias ∙ Andrea Martin

You’re The One was released as the lead single for the album, and has since become one of their most signature songs. Lyrically, the song speaks to wanting someone who is spoken for…but is adamant on letting him know they can creep around. You’re The One hit number 1 on the R&B charts, and number 5 on the pop charts respectively. The song was certified Gold by the RIAA.

***You’re The One has been sampled for The One by Big Sean & Hit-Boy & One For Me by Wizkid featuring Ty Dolla $ign.

Whatcha Need

Written by Cheryl Gamble ∙ Tamara Johnson ∙ Allen Gordon, Jr. ∙ Ivan Matias ∙ Andrea Martin ∙ Brain Alexander Morgan

Whatcha Need is a song that I love the more and more that I listen to it. Lyrically, the song is about wanting to be someone’s one and only and you have everything that they would ever need.

On & On (featuring Erick Sermon)

Written by Erick Sermon ∙ Ivan Matias ∙ Andrea Martin ∙ Leroy Burgess ∙ James Calloway ∙ Sonny Davenport

On & On is such a vibe. I love everything about the record from the production, harmonies and the rap verse from Erick Sermon

We makes it hot like Coko, Lelee & Taj, oh my God!!!

Erick Sermon, On & On, 1996.

It’s All About U

Written by Allen Gordon ∙ Andrea Martin ∙ Anthony Burroughs

It’s All About U was released as the the third and final single from the album and found the members all singing lead with Taj mores singing it. The song was a moderate success on the chart, peaking in the top 40 on the R&B charts.

Use Your Heart

Written by Chad Hugo ∙ Pharrell Williams

Use Your Heart is a R&B masterpiece, and I am willing to argue about it period! Released as the second single from the album, the song was one of The Neptunes first introduction to the world in regards to their songwriting and production capabilities. Everything about this song is pure perfection. The song was a top ten hit on the R&B charts, peaking at number 6.

***Use Your Heart contains a sample of If It Don’t Turn You On (You Oughta Leave It Alone) by B.T. Express & was sampled for Thinkin’ Bout U by DJ Quik.

Where Is The Love (Interlude)

Written by Herb Middleton ∙ Gordon Chambers

Where is the love
That you promised me
(That you promised me)
Or are those days and the nights
That we spent, just a fantasy?
(Just a fantasy)
Where is the love
(Where is the love)
That you said we would share
(That you said we would share)
Why did I wake up this morning
To find that you were not there?
You picked a fine time to tell me that you did not love me
(You did not love me, baby)
And after all this time I thought that you were only thinkin’ of me
Sometimes I feel like I could sit right down and just cry
But all that I can do tonight is wonder as I ask myself, why
(Where is the love)
Where is the love, hey, hey, hey, hey

SWV, Where Is The Love (Interlude,) 1996

Fine Time

Written by Brian Alexander Morgan ∙ Eric Hightower ∙ Carla Fowler

Fine Time is a song that’ll have you in your feelings if you’re going through it chile! “You picked a fine time to tell me you don’t love me. You picked a fine time to tell me you don’t care. And what I thought was love was really just pretending.” Like whewwww a classic SWV record!

Love Is So Amazin’

Written by Tamara Johnson ∙ Carl Brown ∙ Anthony Burroughs ∙ Allen Gordon, Jr

Love Is So Amazin‘ speaks about the complexities of love, and does perfectly well to be honest.

Use Your Heart (Interlude)

Written by Chad Hugo ∙ Pharrell Williams ∙ Herb Middleton

Use your heart
And not your eyes
You’ve got time
And I’ve got time
Use your heart and not your eyes
Baby just relax your mind
If you’ve got time then I’ve got time
Free your thoughts
And watch them fly
Use your heart
And not your eyes

SWV, Use Your Heart (Interlude,) 1996

You Are My Love

Written by Daryl Simmons

You Are My Love is a song about wanting the one you love to be with you, and that’s all that you are longing for.

I’m So in Love

Written by Cheryl Gamble ∙ Gerard Parker

Written by Coko, I’m So In Love speaks about the beauty of love.

When This Feeling

Written by Pharrell Williams ∙ Chad Hugo ∙ David Nichtern

When This Feeling is definitely one of the underrated gems on the album.

What’s It Gonna Be

Written by Brain Alexander Morgan

What’s It Gonna Be is letting him know what time it is!

That’s What I’m Here For (featuring Butterfly)

Written by Brian Alexander Morgan ∙ Carl Brown

That’s What I’m Here For is a collaboration with Butterfly, and is lyrically a song about being there for your loved one no matter what you go through.

Don’t Waste Your Time

Written by Chucky Thompson ∙ Faith Evans ∙ Leanne Lyons

Don’t Waste Your Time is a classic record Chile!!! I’m definitely singing this to the man I love period.

Soul Intact (Interlude)

Written by Brian Alexander Morgan

Keep your soul intact
Don’t let nothing hold you back
Keep your soul intact
Keep your soul intact
Don’t let nothing hold you back
Keep your soul, intact
Don’t let nothing hold you back
Keep your head up towards the sky
It’s gonna be ruff, you can’t give up
Hold on (hold on)
Keep your soul intact
Don’t let nothing hold you back
Keep your soul intact
Keep your soul intact
Don’t let nothing hold you back
Keep your soul, intact
Unity that’s what we need
Unity that’s what we need

SWV, Soul Intact (Interlude,) 1996

New Beginning was definitely one of the best albums I’ve ever heard to come out of the year of 1996. It showed us a different type of vibe from the group, and it worked 1000%. When we talk about girl groups, SWV is totally at the top of the list. A top tier group period! -MW.

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