Week Fulla Women in 90s & 00s R&B – First Listen #36: Floetry’s ‘Floetic’

I had absolutely no clue that Floetry was an English R&B group lol. I guess because it seemed like they were so ever-present in conversations with American R&B artists that I just made an assumption that they were also American. So, I was in quite a shock when I found out otherwise. Life comes at you fast lol. I don’t know a whole bunch about Floetry, but just like with all of the other artists from this week, I’ve heard nothing but good things about them and their music. I’m a little bit more familiar with Marsha Ambrosius (mostly off the strength of “Far Away” and her having written Michael Jackson’s “Butterflies”) than I am with Natalie Stewart, but with the reputation that they have, I figured that Floetic (2002) was going to be a very good album.

Photo Credit: https://www.last.fm/music/Floetry/+images/fadaf5e4a9b049e6b611480490720f51

2002: Floetic

(via Genius)

And it was!

I think the thing that was the most interesting to me about the existence of this project as a whole was that it was so reminiscent of American R&B music that was coming out around that time. And that could possibly be because they wrote for so many artists from the US who are considered the backbones of 2000s R&B, and those artists have very similar sounds and vibes. But I also think that’s because music, as my middle school band director told us, is a universal language, and because of that, there are influences and styles that bounce around from place to place. A good contemporary example of that is how drill, a rap genre that started out primarily in Chicago, has found a second and third home in New York and the UK. Floetic is full of the wonderful vocals and amazing production that I have come to expect from a solid R&B project from the 2000s. It’s filled to the brim with up-tempo grooves, tracks that make your shoulders move, and sighing verses centered on the beauty of love. Pretty classic rhythm and blues.

I will say, though, that it was songs like “Opera” and “Floetic” that tended to the tracks I liked the most. There was a little bit of a hip hop lean in those tracks that I appreciated and made them a little more interesting to listen to. I also liked “Hey You;” it’s one of the more spoken word-sounding songs on the project – similar to some of the stuff from Who is Jill Scott? (2000) from yesterday’s First Listen – and that really allowed the poetry background of these women to pop out, and it was easy to see that that was where their creativity manifested. There were moments outside of those songs where things started to feel a little more on the repetitive side, where I stopped being able to tell one song from the next, so I kinda of started skipping through some of the songs in the group of the last 4 or 5 tracks. During that time, I also took a little break to listen to a song they did with Yasiin Bey – who y’all know I am a newly-minted stan of – called “Wanna B Where U R” from the Barbershop 2 (Back in Business) soundtrack. Great great song.

speaking of jill scott…

Week Fulla Women in 90s & 00s R&B – First Listen #35: Jill Scott’s ‘Who is Jill Scott?’

Sigh. Miss Jill Scott. Out of the First Listens that I’ve done so far, I think Jill Scott’s is the one I was the most excited about because of the fact that it’s completely disrespectful of me to not have listened to Who is Jill Scott? (2000) in full by this ripe age of 24. … Continue reading Week Fulla Women in 90s & 00s R&B – First Listen #35: Jill Scott’s ‘Who is Jill Scott?’

Out of those final tracks, It was really nice to hear “Butterflies (Demo).”Butterflies” is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs – and it’s very underrated – so it was nice to hear where that song started, knowing where its final form landed on Invincible (2001). I really want to see more demos being added to the end of people’s projects, where we’re able to kind of hear more of the songwriting process than just getting the final product. I think a lot of times people who don’t make music or people who don’t make/take music seriously don’t really think that making music is hard. But if you’ve made music before or watched music be made, you know how painstaking of a process it is and how difficult it can be.

There was this weekend band program called Janfest or Midfest that I used to go to in middle and high school. I think I went about two or three times during those seven years. It was an opportunity for some of the best musicians in a high school’s band to go and spend 3 days working with other students from different bands across the state of Georgia – I’m not sure if they had these programs in other states – learning 3 full pieces of music that culminated into a hour-ish long concert on the Sunday morning. The over a hundred students would be split up into about 10-ish bands based on an audition on Friday, and had from the moments after being placed in the band on Friday to a quick rehearsal on Sunday morning to learn the three songs with 40 other people – including a band director – that we didn’t know. And while I had already known how serious the process of creating music was by just being in my regular home band in school, those weekends where I was able to go to those programs really drilled into my head #1, how much talent a group of people has to have, in order to make something sound good in such a short amount of time, and #2, how difficult it is to pull a piece of music together. And so that I started reminiscing on that while listening to the “Butterflies (Demo).”

You know sometimes

We don’t recognize our dreams inside our realities

And other times were not aware of exactly what’s real

We walk around daydreaming but the sun is shining, the sunshine always is

Floetry, “Sunshine”

To get back on track (lol), I did enjoy Floetic, despite me skipping through some of the final songs. It’s a shame that their time making music together ended so roughly. It seems like things started getting to a decently bad place between the two of them (with some personal matters making that worse) and there wasn’t really a room for them to kind of come back together and make amends. So, during their time together they only have two projects of their own to show for it, but at least with this one (since it’s the only one I’ve heard), I’d say they created some high quality material during that time. I think Floetic (and Floetry as a duo) is the perfect example of how being a master of your craft affects the quality of your end products. Anybody can make an album that will have people excited about it for a couple of months, but it takes a lot of talent to put something together that people still talk about decades later.

Overall Project Rating

Featured Image Credit: https://www.last.fm/music/Floetry/+images/1b0b6bee0e5449d7aee4ea0813aa2926


(listen to Who is Jill Scott? on spotify by clicking the image below)

here’s something else you might like…

Week Fulla Women in 90s & 00s R&B – First Listen #35: Jill Scott’s ‘Who is Jill Scott?’

Sigh. Miss Jill Scott. Out of the First Listens that I’ve done so far, I think Jill Scott’s is the one I was the most excited about because of the fact that it’s completely disrespectful of me to not have listened to Who is Jill Scott? (2000) in full by this ripe age of 24. … Continue reading Week Fulla Women in 90s & 00s R&B – First Listen #35: Jill Scott’s ‘Who is Jill Scott?’

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