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New Edition reunion

| June 6, 2012

Even though New Edition’s remained a consistent presence on the road in various incarnations, this year marks a complete reunion for the R&B supergroup in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Besides taking a trip down memory lane to dust off group classics like “Cool It Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “If It Isn’t Love,” “Can You Stand The Rain,” and “Hit Me Off,” the show also promises plenty of solo hits from all its successful members.

For those needing a refresher, that includes Bobby Brown (“My Prerogative”), Johnny Gill (“My, My, My”), Ralph Tresvant (“Sensitivity”), and Bell Biv DeVoe (“Poison”), who last all linked up 1997, but quickly dissolved in drama. While getting all those guys on the same stage is headline-worthy in its own right, this run is earning extra attention after the untimely passing of bad boy Brown’s ex-wife Whitney Houston. Though there’s plenty of YouTube footage with him addressing the situation at shows, he’s yet to miss a single one and even has his first solo album in 15 years that came out Tuesday.

Nonetheless, New Edition’s never been about individual members, but about the soulful harmonies the six guys create together. And in days of auto-tuned, over-produced pop, hip-hop, and R&B, finding anyone who can actually sing without all the bells and whistles is a rarity (with Gill arguably serving as the strongest in this group). In other words, New Edition could pretty much wipe the floor with today’s dime-a-dozen boy bands and this trip back in time is likely to point out several reasons that even if they weren’t the first, they could quite possibly be the best. (Sunday@UIC Pavilion.)

— Andy Argyrakis

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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