Level II (Blackstreet album)

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Level II
BLACKSTREET - Level II.jpg
Studio album by Blackstreet
Released March 11, 2003 United States
Recorded 2002–2003
Future Recording Studios
(Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.)
Genre R&B,[1] new jack swing[2]
Length 62:26
Label DreamWorks
Producer Teddy Riley (executive), Leroy Burgess, Nate "Danjahandz" Hills, Andreao "Fanatic" Heard
Blackstreet chronology
Finally
(1999)
Level II
(2003)
No Diggity: The Very Best of Blackstreet
(2003)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (59/100)[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic (favorable)[4]
Blender 2/5 stars[3]
Chicago Tribune (mixed)[5]
Entertainment Weekly C+[2]
Mojo 1/5 stars[3]
People (mixed)[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[1]
The Situation 3.5/5 stars[7]
Slant Magazine 2/5 stars[8]
Uncut 3/5 stars[9]
Vibe 2.5/5 stars[3]
Yahoo! Music UK 8/10 stars[10]

Level II is the fourth album by R&B group, Blackstreet, released on March 11, 2003. It was their first and only album released on the record label DreamWorks Records. The album's title was a reference to its members' best known line-up during their most successful album, 1996's Another Level.[11] Two of the members returned for the recording of Level II. Mark Middleton returned to the fold after he was replaced by Terrell Phillips on 1999's Finally to launch a gospel music career. Dave Hollister returned on the song "Bygones", as he also left the group to start his solo career.

Founding members Teddy Riley and Chauncey Hannibal patched things up to record Level II. A few years earlier, they were involved in a very public dispute that signaled the group's demise at the end of 1999.[12][13][14][15] After Blackstreet's eventual dissolution, Riley entered into a short-lived reunion with his previous group Guy.[16] Hannibal attempted a solo career, while Eric Williams returned to writing and producing for other artists such as Dave Hollister, Donell Jones and Jaheim.

Riley also attempted a solo career as well, with a deal with Virgin Records in 2000.[17][18] His solo recording Black Rock was shelved despite promotional copies of the album being issued.[19] Another project that he worked on was the Capitol Records singer Michael "Mike E." Etheridge, a former member of The Neptunes.[20] His debut album Master Plan- which was executive produced by Riley- was also shelved, and as a result, several songs on the unreleased albums made their way on Level II. "Look In The Water" was originally recorded by Mike E. for his album,[21] but Riley re-recorded the song with Blackstreet's vocals. Several songs from Riley's unreleased album Black Rock ("Friend Of Mine", "You Made Me", "Deep" and "Bygones") were also re-recorded for this album.[22] Level II was released with little to no promotion, as DreamWorks Records was on the verge of being absorbed by their previous label Interscope Records.[23][24]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Ticket To Ride (Intro)" T. Riley, T. Lucas, R. Stanard, C. Scarborough, M. White Teddy Riley, Shareefa Cooper, Sean Washington, Kenny Frazier, Kenny Quiller 3:17
2. "Don't Touch (featuring Mr. Cheeks)" T. Riley, R. Stanard, T. Kelly, E. Williams, M. Middleton, L. Richie, M. Williams, W. Orange, T. McClary, R. LaPread, W. King Leroy Burgess 3:30
3. "She's Hot" T. Riley, C. Black, B. Turner Teddy Riley 3:24
4. "Deep" T. Riley, R. Stanard Teddy Riley 4:22
5. "Ooh Girl" T. Riley, C. Black, R. Stanard, N. Whitfield Teddy Riley 3:27
6. "Friend Of Mine" T. Riley, J. Clawson, R. Stanard Leroy Burgess, Superb 3:49
7. "Interlude: What's The Fuss?"     0:40
8. "You Made Me" T. Riley, R. Stanard Leroy Burgess 4:33
9. "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye" T. Riley, C. Black, D. Marshall, C. Cofield, W. Butler, C. Davis, O. Leavi Daryl "DL" Marshall, Chauncey Black, Teddy Riley 4:15
10. "Why, Why" T. Riley, M. Woolard, A. Williams, J. Williams, N. Hills, J. Bettis, S. Porcaro Teddy Riley, Nate Hills, Natural Blend 3:34
11. "Look In The Water" T. Riley, M. Etheridge, P. Williams, M. Hucknall, N. Moss Teddy Riley 4:48
12. "Baby You're All I Want" T. Riley, E. Williams, Jahid, W. Hodges Eric Williams, Wesley Hodges 3:55
13. "How We Do" T. Riley, E. Peoples, P. Williams, D. King II Eugene Peoples, Teddy Riley, Prathan "Spanky" Williams 3:48
14. "Bygones" T. Riley, A. Heard, S. Barnes Teddy Riley, Andreao "Fanatic" Heard, Sherrod Barnes 4:20
15. "Interlude: Still Feelin' You"     2:05
16. "Brown Eyes" T. Riley, B. Reeves, P. Lees Teddy Riley, Philosophy 3:34
17. "Wizzy Wow (featuring Mystikal)" T. Riley, R. Stanard, M. Tyler, C. Black, E. Williams, M. Middleton, M. Watts Teddy Riley 3:22

Samples[edit]

  • "Ticket To Ride" contains a sample of "Earth, Wind & Fire", as performed by Earth, Wind & Fire
  • "Don't Touch" contains a sample of "Brick House", as performed by Commodores
  • "She's Hot" contains an interpolation of "Warning", as performed by The Notorious B.I.G.
  • "Ooh Girl" contains an interpolation of "Ooh Boy", as performed by Rose Royce
  • "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye" contains a sample of "My Love", as performed by Gene Chandler
  • "Why, Why" contains an interpolation of "Human Nature", as performed by Michael Jackson
  • "Look In The Water" contains a sample of "Holding Back the Years", as performed by Simply Red

Personnel[edit]

  • Teddy Riley, Jean-Marie Horvat - recording engineers, mixing
  • Brian Turner, Jim Quarles - assistant engineers
  • David Campbell - string arrangements & conducting
  • Tony Dawsey - mastering
  • Joseph Cultice - photography
  • D.L. Warfield - art direction, design

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rolling Stone review at the Wayback Machine (archived May 12, 2006)
  2. ^ a b Coates, Ta-Nehisi (2003-04-04). "Level II Review". Entertainment Weekly: 100. Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d Critic reviews from Metacritic
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Chicago Tribune review
  6. ^ People review
  7. ^ The Situation review
  8. ^ Slant Magazine review
  9. ^ "Blackstreet - Level 2". Uncut: 92. June 2003. Retrieved 2013-04-28. 
  10. ^ Yahoo! Music UK review at the Wayback Machine (archived July 23, 2004)
  11. ^ Cinquemani, Sal. "Blackstreet - Level II (review)". slantmagazine.com. Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  12. ^ Ivory. "SoulBounce's Class Of 1994: Blackstreet 'Blackstreet'". soulbounce.com. Soul Bounce. Retrieved 2015-07-19. 
  13. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric. "Teddy Riley Ready To Make Solo Debut". mtv.com. Viacom International, Inc. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  14. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony. "Blackstreet's Chauncey "C-Black" Hannibal tells all about Teddy Riley". Vibe Magazine- August 2000. books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  15. ^ Neal, Mark Anthony. "Blackstreet Level II (review)". popmatters.com. PopMatters Media, Inc,. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  16. ^ Gill, John. "Teddy Riley Focuses On Guy Rather Than Blackstreet's Uncertain Future". mtv.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  17. ^ "R&B Visionary Teddy Riley Signs With Virgin Records America". prnewswire.com. PR Newswire Association, LLC. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  18. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric. "Teddy Riley Ready To Make Solo Debut". mtv.com. Viacom International, Inc. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  19. ^ "Special Feature: Teddy Riley". njs4ever.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  20. ^ Saidman, Sorelle. "Teddy Riley Steers Mike E's "Master Plan". mtv.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  21. ^ Mike E. - Look In The Water (Prod by Teddy Riley) on YouTube
  22. ^ "Teddy Riley - Black Rock". album credits. discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  23. ^ "Universal Music to buy DreamWorks Records". deseretnews.com. Deseret News. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  24. ^ Gallo, Phil. "D'Works diskery reborn at UMG". variety.com. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 

External links[edit]