Q, Mike, Slim and Daron, better known as 112, are back. Their infectious blend of Hip Hop inspired R&B has been bleeding from speakers for the past two decades. However, nearly half of that time is the break since their last album, Pleasure & Pain. The Atlanta based quartet has returned with their new album, Q Mike Slim Daron. Many fans and pundits have wondered if the group still has the same star appeal after a 12 year hiatus. Tracks like the seductive bass thumper, “Come Over” and the poignant slow jam, “Without You”, answer that question with a resounding “yes”. The latter track even samples from their hit song, “Cupid”. The group pulls off the throwback reference well, without sounding corny.
“Both Of Us” is the album’s biggest surprise. The fact that the song sounds good was expected, but the guest feature from past rival R&B band, Jagged Edge, was not. Surprisingly, each group’s set of voices blend together well. In fact, it’s one of the stand out tracks from the album. Faith Evans also stops by to lend her gospel tinged pipes on a short interlude. “True Colors” sounds a bit dated, even though it’s still a decent song. The only issue is it sounds like it was directly taken from their 90s heyday. “Wanna Be” really showcases their vocal strength as a unit. This one sounds like a shoe in for the perfect Valentine’s Day single.
“Still Got It” is a memorable and catchy reminder to their ladies that the love is still good after all these years. The group’s mentor, the “take that, take that” master himself, Puff Daddy, is absent from production on this project. Although he crafted some of the group’s biggest hits, the gamble of not including him is commendable. Their music sounds more calculated and mature now, as it should be. Don’t mistake it though. 112 still has some danceable tracks here. “Lucky” is an up-tempo declaration of how great it feels to finally find true love.
“1’s For Ya” keeps up with the current trends in music. However, the group manages to dodge conformity and create their own lane through a large majority of the album. 112 brought real R&B music back on Q Mike Slim Daron. It’s about time. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another 12 years until their next album.