Wednesday, September 4, 2013

112: Pleasure & Pain: Old Music Review

As I reviewed Bic Runga last month (see previous blog Bic Runga Review)    I thought that it was time to review another CD.  This time I chose one of my favorite under-rated 112 albums, Pleasure & Pain.

In case you have absolutely NO idea who 112 is, let me give you a little bit of background.  112 is an American R & B quartet from Atlanta, GA.  The four men are Marvin Eugene "Slim" Scandrick, Michael Marcel Keith, Quinnes "Q" Parker, is credited with the mellow vocals; and vocalist Daron Jones - who often doubles as the record producer for 112.  The four met while attending high school together.  From 2008 to 2012, each member of the group has released at least 1 solo album, and there are constant rumors about a reconciliation album, and a tour was actually performed in 2012 with the reconciliation with Slim.

Pleasure & Pain was released in March of 2005 and is the 5th studio album entitled thusly due to a song with the same name off of their 1996 debut album.  The album overall did not do as well as the three preceding albums and didn't get very good reviews.  This may have has something to do with the fact that although profanity was featured in previous albums, this was the first to actually get labeled as "parental advisory."  Reviews were very skeptical of the collaboration with a group such as Three 6 Mafia thinking that it made 112 fall to the gutter and drop their previous standard of high quality music.  There was speculation that Bad Boy taking over started the end of their spotlight stay.  Although always surrounded by rumors, this is the last studio album released by 112 as a group.

Now when it comes to the actual songs of Pleasure & Pain, the CD starts out with an Intro.  The Intro gives you a nice opening into the CD and why it was entitled Pleasure & Pain, which flows nicely into the first song "Let This Go." 
"Let This Go" has a nice catchy beat and is about giving second chances and how the relationship seems to have run it's course, you can't help but head bobbing to the delivery of a breakup song.  Nicely done 112, nicely done. 
Then we move into the third song "What If" which is about looking on a relationship and the man wondering what if he hadn't made all of the mistakes and taken his wife for granted and what if he had generally been a better man and not broken her heart, where would they be now, instead of where they are now, which is no longer together.  I remember always listening to this song and wondering what if there was a man or two who wouldn't have done things that they had done to me that had caused the relationship to be over.  It has a slower more demure beat, but you just can't help but like the song no matter what kind of things it makes you wonder about. 
Now we have come to the fourth song "U Already Know."  This song is more on the "Pleasure" of the CD.  It is about a nice sexual rendezvous. It is a great song with some great visualizations that makes you want to have a nice little afternoon delight yourself (I have no idea what time of day was intended, I just always envisioned afternoon sex when I heard it, but it could totally be late night as well).
Moving on to the fifth song "Damn."  I have to say that as much as I love this entire CD, this has to be on the lower end of the spectrum for me.  It is about being mad for falling for someone and loving two women at the same time.  About not meaning to break someones heart, and not being happy together when he ran into the side girl's arms when things weren't going good at home.  Also I am not a huge fan of the flow of the song in general.
As the sixth song "Nowhere" has that love song vibe and slows it down.  Opening with pronouncing that the man is Never going nowhere.  Also that no one will ever take her place.  The woman doesn't have to worry when he is out at the club, because she is the only one for him (you can tell the contradictory emotions that are being felt just by the CD's flow.  I think this was ingeniously done if you listen to it from beginning to end, you feel tugged back and forth through the chaos yourself.)
We come back to a nice catchy vibe with "Last to Know." He is wondering if the love has left their relationship and how things aren't going well, he doesn't want to be the last to know if the relationship is already over, but he is willing to try to work things out, but he needs the communication to be there.  This song's catchy vibe rises it up my likeness scale.
Now we come to a "Sorry (Interlude)" This is an apology in song form about how "sorry" is not enough, and that he is more than sorry...
For the second half of the CD (Track 9) "My Mistakes"  We come back to a great vibe.  I really love this song.  He is wanting to work things out and wanting to take back his mistakes.  He is begging to have another chance and be forgiven and wishing that he could quit making the same mistakes.  However he seems to have been multiple chances already and just wants to erase the past and work things out.
"If I Hit" features T.I. and even knowing what this song is obviously about, I still love it.  It has a great beat and excellent vocal flow.  However it is about getting down with another man's woman that he met at the bar, and the things he can do to her that her "man won't do." T.I. just adds to the greatness.  However the chorus is deplorable "If I hit, promise, there ain't gonna be no drama...  If I hit promise, I ain't gotta hear nothing from you, your n***** running in with that drama saying I done f***** his woman"  And yes it's a great club song and you want to dance and try not to sing the lyrics, great guilty pleasure song.
"The Way" features Jermain Dupri who also helped produce a couple of songs on the album.  It starts out with a short rap by Jermaine, I am not a huge fan of the beat.  This is another song about another man's woman and how she can't tell his girl about the way that he wants her.  Lacking the catchy beat and making you want to get up and dance to it, this song falls towards the bottom for me.
"We Goin' be Alright" slows things down a bit, and gives a little bit of a gospel feel with some a Capella.  And how if they can communicate then things will be alright.
"Why Can't We Get Along" stays on the slow side, adding some nice music to go with.  Also about a lot of lack of communication and no compromise and lots of fighting.  It has a nice flow so I place it in the middle.
"That's How Close We Are" adds a little bit of speed to the mix.  It seems more philosophical than the rest of the songs thus far.  Contemplating life and comparing things around him to the woman he loves and how close they are.  Back in love now after the fights, and how great life is going with the woman.  She has given him another chance and the sun is shining.  It's an overall great lovey song and I place it back towards the top.
"Closing the Club" featured Three 6 Mafia.   I can't help but laugh going through this play list, we got things back good, so now it's time to go back to the club and mess things up again hahaha.  Either way Three 6 Mafia, helps take things to a little more of a down and dirty level.  The beat is quite simplistic with few note changes but still catchy, and bringing 112 back tot he alcohol and sex addiction.  Needless to say it's still catchy and I like it.
"What the Hell do You Want" is second to last song on this CD.  This is the repentance I did wrong song.  I just laugh going through this journey from the man's side.  (Assuming only the story told by the lyrics and the song order that does not seem like an accident to me.)  He can't understand why things aren't going so well, and he is taken as a joke.  He seems at a loss as to what to do to make his woman happy.  All he really had to do was be there and keep it in his pants.  Stop lying and sneaking around, we don't really need a whole lot more on the basic level.  That is probably what the hell she wants from him haha. 
"God Knows" wraps up our journey, and stays on the slower groovy side.   He is still wondering why all the love that he has is being questioned and why she won't be an exception and asking for trust and wanting to be there.  I think if he would just listen to the song order, he would realize the hellish roller coaster that their relationship had traversed.  I feel bad for either party for having to go through this.  I would have gotten off the ride around the start of the CD haha.  It's still a great song. 
As you can see overall the CD is a great listen, and I definitely recommend checking it out. 

I chose to share "What If" for you to help you contemplate as well :)


  1. Love the review. Would like to see more of these. I may be anonymous but I'm sure you will know this good fellow as a Mr fix it up until the day I left. How are the windows on your car btw? :)

    1. Thank you. I do need to review more music. Had to re-tape the window a few times so far though :(