City High (album)

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City High
Studio album by City High
Released May 22, 2001 (2001-05-22)[1]
Recorded 1999–2001
Genre R&B[2]
Length 55:26
Label Interscope[1]
Producer Clark Kent , Salaam Remi , Ryan Toby , Wyclef Jean, Jerry Duplessis and others.[3]
Singles from City High
  1. "What Would You Do?"
    Released: February 27, 2001
  2. "Caramel"
    Released: November 2001 [3]
  3. "City High Anthem"
    Released: 2002

City High is the debut and only album by R&B trio City High. It was released on May 22, 2001.

Background[edit]

The group began as Pardlo signing on as a solo artist. However, soon Pardlo's high school friend Toby, and the producers decided that it should be a two-man group featured in the album. Soon after the two-man group began to work on the album, The Product G&B became successful. In order to stand out, the producers decided to add a female member. They choose Ortiz, another group member from their high school.[4] During production, all three members did writing on the songs.[5] The trio focused on trying to make lyrics that told a story, Toby noting that he got some inspiration for writing songs that tell stories from country music.[4] A large amount of the songs are based on real-life experiences the trio has experienced, such as "What Would You Do?".[5]

"What Would You Do?" was featured on the soundtrack to the 1999 film Life.[6] However, it was not formally released until 2001.

This helped with the sale of the album once it was released, and the album became a hit. The group disbanded in 2003, failing to release another album, despite their debut's success.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A–[2]
Q 4/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[8]
RTE Entertainment 4/5 stars[9]
Vibe 3/5[10]

The album received generally favorable reviews. Allmusic's Jon Azpiri noted "it stands as an impressive debut".[1] Jon Caramanica of Rolling Stone said that, although "today's bling-tastic R&B usually avoids social commentary", City High's debut "hinges on thick, stomp-worthy funk, luxurious soul grooves and plaintive harmonies about messy modern love".[8] RTE Entertainment's John Raftery raved that "'City High' seem to be part of a movement, alongside Lucy Pearl and Spooks, which is letting the world know that black America is about more than just blunts and guns. That alone makes this classy album stand out from the crowd."[9] Q magazine said that "few have managed to capture the original Fugee spirit like City High".[7] In a mixed review, Maurice Bottomley of Pop Matters felt that some songs have poor lyrical content, including "City High Anthem"'s "collection of clichés beyond any chance of redemption", and said that "15 Will Get You 20" is "catchy to the point of irritation".[11]

City High's debut album did excellently on the charts debuting at #34 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by the RIAA months later. The first single "What Would You Do?" reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was nominated for a Grammy in Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Standard[edit]

# Title Composer(s) Time
1. "Didn't Ya" Remi, Salaam/Toby, Ryan 3:45
2. "What Would You Do?" Bailey, B./Broadus, C./Toby, Ryan/Young, A./Pardlo, Robby 2:54
3. "Why" Toby, Ryan/Pardlo, Robby 3:32
4. "Caramel" Toby, Ryan/Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby/Xavier, Giscard 3:35
5. "You Don't Know Me" Dickson, Tim/Paul, Terill/Pardlo, Robby 4:10
6. "15 Will Get You 20" Brooks, Lethal/Franklin, R./Jean, Wyclef 3:30
7. "Song for You" Hathaway, Donny 4:35
8. "Cats and Dogs" Pardio, Bobby/Toby, Ryan/Jean, Wyclef/Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby/Ortiz, Claudette 3:30
9. "Best Friends" Gilmore, Walter/Toby, Ryan/Pardlo, Robby/Avant, Gerard 4:50
10. "Three Way" Toby, Ryan/Davis, Vidal 3:30
11. "Sista" Toby, Ryan/Harris, Andre 3:51
12. "The Only One I Trust" Battle, Jerrell/Toby, Ryan/Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby/Avant, Gerard 4:17
13. "So Many Things" Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby 4:08
14. "City High Anthem" Pardio, Bobby/Toby, Ryan/Pardlo, Robby/Ortiz, Claudette 5:19

[3]

Bonus Track Edition[edit]

# Title Composer(s) Time
1. "Didn't Ya" Remi, Salaam/Toby, Ryan 3:45
2. "Three Way" Toby, Ryan/Davis, Vidal 3:30
3. "Why" Toby, Ryan/Pardlo, Robby 3:32
4. "Song For You" Hathaway, Donny 4:35
5. "15 Will Get You 20" Brooks, Lethal/Franklin, R./Jean, Wyclef 3:30
6. "Cats and Dogs" Pardio, Bobby/Toby, Ryan/Jean, Wyclef/Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby/Ortiz, Claudette 3:30
7. "Caramel" Toby, Ryan/Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby/Xavier, Giscard 3:35
8. "Best Friends" Gilmore, Walter/Toby, Ryan/Pardlo, Robby/Avant, Gerard 4:50
9. "Sista" Toby, Ryan/Harris, Andre 3:51
10. "What Would You Do?" Bailey, B./Broadus, C./Toby, Ryan/Young, A./Pardlo, Robby 2:54
11. "So Many Things" Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby 4:08
12. "The Only One I Trust" Battle, Jerrell/Toby, Ryan/Duplessis, Jerry "Te Bass"/Pardlo, Robby/Avant, Gerard 4:17
13. "City High Anthem" Pardio, Bobby/Toby, Ryan/Pardlo, Robby/Ortiz, Claudette 5:19
14. "You Don't Know Me" Dickson, Tim/Paul, Terill/Pardlo, Robby 4:10
15. "Caramel" (Trackmasters remix feat. Eve) 3:40

[12]

Personnel[edit]

  • Kwaku Alston – Photography
  • Gerard Avant – Producer
  • Ron Banks – Mixing
  • Vidal Davis – Producer, Engineer
  • Jerry Duplessis – Producer, Executive Producer, Mixing
  • Jason Dyer – Mixing, Assistant
  • Serban Ghenea – Mixing
  • Andy Grassi – Engineer, Mixing
  • Jessica Harley – A&R
  • Andre Harris – Producer
  • Wyclef Jean – Producer, Executive Producer, Mixing
  • Carlton Jones – Stylist
  • Clark Kent – Producer, Mixing
  • Sonny Kompanek – String Arrangements
  • Alex Ndione – Mixing
  • Robby Pardlo – Producer, Engineer, Executive Producer, Mixing, Vocals
  • Salaam Remi – Producer, Engineer, Vocal Arrangement, Mixing, Vocal Producer
  • Ryan Toby – Producer, Engineer, Executive Producer, Vocal Arrangement, Mixing, Vocal Producer, Vocals
  • Joe Yannece – Mastering
  • Claudette Ortiz- Producer, Vocals
  • Cus - Mixing

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
Billboard 200[3] 34
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[3] 23

Singles[edit]

  • "City High Anthem" was intended to be the third single by the group.[5] However, it was unsuccessful and did not chart.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Allmusic Review". Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 26, 2001). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Billboard- City High". Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  4. ^ a b "IN CITY HIGH'S BOOK, EVERY SONG TELLS A STORY". Daily News (New York). May 29, 2001. Retrieved 2009-06-22. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d "The Grammys: City High". USA Today. January 21, 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  6. ^ "Life Soundtrack". Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  7. ^ a b "Review: City High". Q (London): 132. March 2002. 
  8. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (August 16, 2001). "Review: City High". Rolling Stone (New York) (875): 108. 
  9. ^ a b "RTÉ Entertainment". RTÉ News. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  10. ^ Caramanica, Jon (July 2001). "Review: City High". Vibe. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Pop Matters". Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  12. ^ "Allmusic- City High [Bonus Track]". Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Billboard Chart". Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  14. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 107. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.