Sigh. It seems like only yesterday we were standing in front of our televisions, watching Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman clench fists to their hearts while singing "End of the Road." And, yes, we sang along, too. We played that Cooleyhighharmony cassette over and over again. We were certain we were the epitome of cool when we learned all the words and made up some seriously "awesome" dance moves to "Motownphilly."
Two decades later, Boyz II Men is decidedly different. There's nothing boyish about these dudes. They've since changed labels. And they're down a member due to McCary's health issues. They're not letting the changes and rough patches keep them down, though. All signs point to their new album, Collide (out Oct. 21), as a completely redefining moment for the men. And if "Underwater" is any indication... the change suits them.
Boyz II Men member Shawn Stockman weighs in on what "Underwater" really means:
"Underwater is not about being heard — it's about the ultimate disconnect in a relationship, so much so that words dissipate as the track progresses," he said. "It sounds upbeat and bubbly, but the theme is real and relatable soundwise."
It's a bit of a digression, huh? "Underwater" is still clearly a Boyz II Men track, though. Stockman and the Morrises still have their amazing vocal talents, of course. It's most evident in their sincere harmonies that seem to triumph, even with a touch of autotune to "modernize" the sound. And it's certainly fresh for them. The synth-tinged music feels more like computerized pop than their former soulful R&B, a clear sign that they know what it takes to get back on top.
While the "soul" might have been downplayed for the music, it shows up abundantly in the new video. Gone are the typical boy band gesticulations. The cheesy gesturing and windswept clothes of music videos past have been replaced with a more modern kind of music video. This video tells a story and flawlessly conjures the emotion that floods in when no one is listening to a word you say. It gets pretty literal in the underwater pool scenes, but it works well for the story they wanted to tell and feelings they're hoping to convey.
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