The neo-soul movement of the late 1990s, which fused classic soul sounds with contemporary elements, heralded the arrival of some of the greatest R&B recordings of the decade. Albums like Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, D'Angelo's Brown Sugar, and Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite were all born of this trend, while artists such as Mos Def, The Roots, and Common whole-heartedly embraced the sound, creating some of their most timeless material in the process. These are some of neo-soul's great successes, but a slew of underground acts were what set the initial blueprint for their more pop-friendly acquaintances to follow. Acts such as R&B duo Groove Theory.
The New York pair, consisting of singer/songwriter Amel Larrieux, and producer Bryce Wilson, (A veteran of the legendary 80s electronic group Mantronix) helped set the tone for neo-soul via their lone studio release, the self-titled Groove Theory. The nearly hour-long record features 14 tracks of Wilson's smooth soul arrangements and atmospherics merged with golden era boom-bap beats, and Larrieux's siren-quality vocals, inspired equally by a combination of Native Tongues, peak Marvin Gaye, Joan Armatrading, Soul II Soul, as well as elements of breakbeat, jazz fusion, and even trip hop.
It's a definitive, but often overlooked classic of the 1990s, which helped expand contemporary R&B's sound, render Billboard hits out the tracks "Tell Me", "Keep Tryin'", and "Baby Luv", and even found the time for a Todd Rundgren cover. On the cusp of Groove Theory's 25th anniversary, Get On Down is proud to bring you this vinyl reissue of an underrated 90s gem.
The original record has never been re-released on wax since its 1995 debut, but is now presented here with fully remastered audio, and bundled in a full-color insert sleeve with complete lyrics and liner notes.