Second Chance (album)
|Studio album by El DeBarge|
|Released||November 30, 2010|
|Genre||R&B, soul, pop|
|Producer||Michael Angelo, The Avila Brothers, Christian Davis, El DeBarge (also exec.), Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Ron Fair, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, John Goux, Mike City, Victor "V Dubb" Wilson|
|El DeBarge chronology|
|Singles from Second Chance|
Second Chance is the fifth studio album by American R&B recording artist El DeBarge, released on November 30, 2010, by Geffen Records and Interscope Records. It is his first studio album in 16 years and the follow-up to Heart, Mind and Soul (1994). Production for the album took place at various recording studios and was handled by DeBarge and several other record producers, including Ron Fair, Mike City, Michael Angelo, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
The album debuted at number 57 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 21,000 copies in its first week. It remained on the chart for 12 weeks and produced two singles, "Second Chance" and "Lay with You". Upon its release, Second Chance received acclaim from music critics, who complimented its material and praised DeBarge's singing. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, set to be presented at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012.
The album is DeBarge's first studio release in 16 years, following a period of drug addiction and legal problems. After his release from prison in 2009, he was introduced by his manager, Pete Farmer, to music executives Ron Fair and Jimmy Iovine at Geffen and Interscope Records. DeBarge sang a cappella in his audition for the label. He later said of the meeting and audition, "we put a plan together and the minute I stepped into the studio I was so nervous, but I felt so much power just coming through me soon as I hit the microphone it was like, it was still there". He subsequently signed a recording deal with the label and began working on Second Chance.
Recording sessions for the album took place at various recording studios, namely Capitol Studios, Flyte Tyme Studios, House of Music, MAS Sounds Studio, Mischkemusic Studios, No Excuses, Oceanway Studios, Redstar Recording, Shelter Studios, Sly Doggie Studios, Sounds Studio, The Boiler Room, The Boom Boom Room, and Unsung Studios. DeBarge co-wrote and co-produced the album, working with producers such as Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Mike City, Ron Fair, the Avila Brothers, and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, who had worked with him on his previous album Heart, Mind and Soul (1994). He also worked with guest artists 50 Cent, Faith Evans, and Fabolous. DeBarge said of the album's music, "There's music to dance to and make love to, music to cry to. I'm starting from scratch, coming fresh. But my sound still embodies the same soulful, intricate harmonies".
DeBarge made several well-received performances and reintroduced himself to the public. On June 27, 2010, he made his first media appearance since his prison release as a surprise guest at the 2010 BET Awards, performing a medley of his earlier hit songs as a member of DeBarge and as a solo artist, including "Second Chance". Subsequently, he opened for recording artist Vivian Green and performed at the 2010 Essence Music Festival in July. Throughout October 2010, he opened for recording artist Mary J. Blige on her Music Saved My Life Tour. He also made promotional appearances on BET's 106 & Park, The Steve Harvey Morning Show, and The Wendy Williams Show, as well as signing events at CD retailers in New York City, Chicago, and Houston during the album's release week.
The album's lead single, "Second Chance", was released on August 17, 2010 as a digital download. It debuted the following week at number 84 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It spent two weeks on the chart and peaked at number 41. "Second Chance" earned DeBarge two Grammy Award nominations, for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song, presented at the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011. The album's second single, "Lay with You", features Faith Evans and was released on October 25, 2010. It reached number 20 and spent 14 weeks on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
In promotion of Second Chance, DeBarge headlined an eight-date national tour in October, coinciding with concert dates for Blige's tour. In December, he toured with recording artist Fantasia and performed on The Mo'Nique Show and The View. He was scheduled to tour during the Spring in the United States with Kem and Ledisi, beginning February 17, 2011, but withdrew after checking himself into a rehabilitation center to address his drug abuse. Recording artist Musiq Soulchild served as his replacement on the tour.
Release and reception
|The Dallas Morning News||B+|
Second Chance was released by Geffen Records on November 30, 2010, in the United States. It debuted at number 57 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and sold 21,000 copies in its first week, the week ending December 18, 2010. It also entered at number 13 on Billboard 's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album spent 12 weeks on the Billboard 200. In the United Kingdom, Second Chance was released on February 11, 2011. It was also released as a two-disc deluxe edition, packaged with a bonus disc of Christmas-themed songs.
Second Chance received widespread acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 84, based on six reviews. Allmusic's Andy Kellman called it "one of the year’s best R&B albums" and complimented its "sweet love songs — pleasurable, fresh updates of his tried and true approach", adding that DeBarge's voice "remains capable of elevating substandard material, not that there is much of it here". Entertainment Weekly 's Mikael Wood commented that "his ethereal vocals still shimmer so effortlessly", and called it "the year's most elegant tell-all". Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe wrote that "DeBarge simply soars, his feather-light vocals still in top form". Steve Jones of USA Today felt that DeBarge's "sweet, soaring falsetto remains intact, and he has lost none of his knack for writing catchy, romantic tunes". The Huffington Post 's Marlynn Snyder critiqued that "the effort to surround [DeBarge] with a mix of both established, hit-making songwriters and producers, and younger creative voices, is a rousing success".
Steve Horowitz of PopMatters asserted that the album's material "succeeds to a large extent simply because it addresses a wide demographic". Mario Tarradell of The Dallas Morning News praised DeBarge's "melodic soul-pop" vocals and described the album as "an elegant effort that updates his style without obliterating it". Okayplayer's E. Esi Arthur wrote that the album "does an efficient job of lining up songs where his unique vocal styling is in the front seat". MSN Music's Robert Christgau gave Second Chance an A- rating. Christgau found DeBarge's voice to be "unspoiled" and stated, "DeBarge's special gift has always been combining the boyish innocence of J5-era Michael Jackson with intimations of physical congress. The quirky murmurs, yelps, and coos of his head voice, a high end of unequalled softness and give, sound responsive where Jackson's sound willed. There's a girl there, or just as likely a grown woman. And whether or not El seems manly to you, he's turning her on and vice versa".
|1.||"Lay with You" (featuring Faith Evans)||E.J. Coulter, Michael Flowers||Mike City||3:41|
|2.||"Heaven"||Eldra DeBarge||Awesome Jones||4:42|
|3.||"Close to You"||Flowers||Mike City, Ron Fair (add.)||3:40|
|4.||"Format" (featuring 50 Cent)||Christian Davis, DeBarge, Curtis Jackson, Victor Wilson||Christian Davis, Victor "V Dubb" Wilson (co.), Ron Fair (add.)||4:08|
|5.||"When I See You"||Mischke Butler, DeBarge, Kenneth Edmonds, Ron Fair||Ron Fair||4:17|
|6.||"How Can You Love Me"||Bobby Ross Avila, Issiah J. Avila, DeBarge, James Harris III, Terry Lewis||The Avila Brothers||4:09|
|8.||"5 Seconds" (featuring Fabolous)||Angelo, Butler, DeBarge, John Jackson, K. Jackson||El DeBarge, Michael Angelo||3:32|
|9.||"Joyful"||DeBarge, Harris III, Lewis||Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis||4:43|
|10.||"Sexy Lady"||Angelo, DeBarge, K. Jackson||Michael Angelo||2:51|
|11.||"Sad Songs"||DeBarge, Harris III, Lewis||Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis||3:18|
|12.||"The Other Side"||DeBarge, Harris III, Lewis||Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis||4:17|
|13.||"Second Chance"||DeBarge, Butler||Ron Fair||3:40|
|Deluxe edition bonus disc|
|1.||"Silent Night"||Traditional||John Goux||2:37|
|2.||"Christmas Without You"||B.R. Avila, I. Avila, DeBarge, Sam Salter, Rick Thomson||The Avila Brothers||4:14|
|3.||"Heart Full of Love"||B.R. Avila, I. Avila, DeBarge, Salter, E. Serrano||The Avila Brothers||4:48|
• (co.) Co-producer
• (add.) Additional production
- "5 Seconds" contains elements of "Stay with Me", written by Mark DeBarge and Etterlene Jordan, and elements of "The Show", written by Ricky Walters and Doug Davis.
|U.S. Billboard 200||57|
|U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums||13|
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