In 1996, 8 years after their last album, New Edition finally reunited (after a string of successful solo projects…which I’ll get to later) for this album, HOME AGAIN. Bobby Brown rejoined the group, making them a sextet for the first (& so far, last) time. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis were brought back to produce some songs on this album, along with contributions from producers Jermaine DuPri, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and Gerald Levert. This album features 11 songs.
1/OH YEAH, IT FEELS SO GOOD is the perfect opening song for this album. Each of the members gets a chance to lead on this song, which is a celebration of the group finally being “back where we belong”.
2/HIT ME OFF was the lead single to the album. Bobby, Ralph, Ricky, and Johnny trade lead vocals, while Ronnie and Michael rap during the break. A great song to showcase this “new” New Edition. I defy you not to bob your head while listening to this track.
3/YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY is a mellow track with Bobby singing lead, and featuring raps from Ronnie and Michael. Combs produced this one, which would have fit well on any of Brown’s solo albums.
4/TIGHTEN IT UP, has Bobby, Ricky, and Ralph in the lead, on this catchy track by Dupri.
5/SHOP AROUND, another Dupri song, a mellow R&B song, with the 4 leads trading verses about what they look for in a woman.
6/HEAR ME OUT, the first ballad of the album, notably co-written by Michael Bivens
7/SOMETHING ABOUT YOU one of my all-time favorite New Edition songs. This should have been a single in the U.S.
8/TRY AGAIN a cool song with a hip-hop flavored beat.
9/HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR LOVE SERVED is the Gerald Levert-penned ballad.
10/ONE MORE DAY is another of my all-time favorite New Edition songs. Ricky sings the lead in this mid-tempo track.
11/I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU is a classic ballad, with Ralph and Ricky on co-leads. Really great.
12/HOME AGAIN another ballad, very smooth, the perfect closure to this album.
The wait was long, but it was worth it. To date, I consider this THE best New Edition album. Everyone got a chance to shine, with Ralph, Bobby, Ricky, and Johnny all competently sharing lead vocals through the album, and Michael and Ronnie getting several chances to be featured with raps and spoken words. It makes me wonder about the possibilities of how this group could have turned out if they’d reunited with Bobby sooner after Heartbreak, and released more albums with all six members in between these two albums. But I’m extremely happy with what we got here. Home Again represents all the promise the group showed as young teenagers on Candy Girl. The boys had truly become men.