BY LATOYA CROSS
Silk has been gifting us with the aural answer to foreplay since they slid onto the music scene in the 90s with pulsating, bed-breaking anthems from "Freak Me" to "Lose Control."
The Keith Sweat-discovered Atlanta quintet released six albums between 1992 and 2006, two of which transformed them into multi-platinum selling artists. Their debut, "Lose Control," went double platinum, followed by 1995's "Sil"k which struck gold and 1999's "Tonight, "which featured the seductive 'Meeting In My Bedroom" hit platinum.
They stood out in era known for R&B infused with New Jack Swing, offering a thread of romance amid the drum effects and shimmery cymbals. In effect, their approach was the antidote to hyper-sexual lyricism emanating from H-Town and Jodeci.
"We talked a lot about foreplay and that leading into the relationship," says Gary "Big G" Glenn. "And foreplay, not necessarily just being sexual, seem to be things that a woman wants to feel."
However, amid the rolling success, it's been ten years since we've heard Johnathan "John John" Rasboro, Jim Gates, Jr., Timothy 'Timzo' Cameron, Gary "Big G" Glenn, and Gary "Lil' G" Jenkins release new music.
And well, it's about time to get that old thing back.
For the last three years, Silk has been performing in their Atlanta hometown with the "All ATL Show" along with 112 and Jagged Edge.
"We're trying to keep a legacy of R&B soul that was kind of passed on to us. I think the Atlanta music culture kind of keeps us going," Big G expresses.
Now, in addition to intimate venues in Hotlanta, the fellas are finally giving fans across the nation a new project to add to their Silk collection with 'The Quiet Storm', available on March 18 under the Silk Entertainment/Shanachie Entertainment banner.
The first single from the album is the charismatic Love 4 U 2 Like Me.
The lyrics represent that same deeper understanding of #relationshipgoals. The fellas croon, not just for love, but a partner who will like them first and develop and nurture a relationship from friendship.
"That's a basic concept, but it's real. I used to hear women say all the time, I love you, but I don't like you. Shoot, I want you to like me," Big G insists.
"The Quiet Storm" reunites fans with the reason they fell in love with the harmonious group while introducing newcomers to wine-and-dine R&B - the kind that elicits two-way emotions and pleasure as opposed to what the group refers to as "one-play."
"We wanted to honor the fact that we're dealing with grown ass women. There's a certain way that you want to make women feel going into the act. It shouldn't be as blatant. There's a musical antidote within this album and a way to get through any part of your relationship you need to deal with."
Bringing a nostalgic feel to the days every radio station had a "quiet storm" period when late night hit, Silk has now become the Keith Sweat to all the Chris Browns' and Bryson Tillers' who take a more blatant approach at wooing the ladies.
"I love today's R&B," says Big G. "Chris Brown is phenomenal. You hear what they're doing and who are we to judge? We came out with 'Freak Me.' On the flip, that means there are some other lanes out there that we kind of help build. Now it's our turn to be [Keith Sweat's] Make it Last Forever and Nobody. It's all love and music to make you feel good."
Dodging headlining industry woes and maintaining a concrete brotherhood has been the key to the fellas' success.
Big G admits to facing musical challenges throughout the years, but feels the group has once again found the right music and the right time to deliver.
"We don't always see things the same way but there's one thing that we all bow down to and our heart and intent is to honor Silk. We all complement each other and that's what makes our sound what it is and we understand why it's important for all of us to be a part of all the vocals."
And if there is any doubt you should give this latest effort a listen, Big G assures us the answer is easy.
"You need to be able to play 'I Love You' from this album next to your 'Let's Make Love' and Lose Control from other albums. You have to get your Silk collection right!"
Pre-order The Quiet Storm on iTunes and look out for the project when it drops March 18.
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