Tony! Toni! Toné!

House of Music

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When Tony! Toni! Toné! finally delivered House of Music, their follow-up to their 1993 breakthrough Sons of Soul, their influence was beginning to be apparent, as younger soul singer/songwriters like Tony Rich and Maxwell began reaching the R&B charts. Like Tony! Toni! Toné!, Rich and Maxwell relied on traditional soul and R&B values of songwriting and live performances, discarding the synth-heavy productions of the late '80s and early '90s. But, as House of Music makes clear, the difference between the Tonies and their successors is that they know how to seamlessly incorporate hip-hop and new jack swingbeat into their essentially traditional sound. Embellishing soul and funk with slamming '90s beats, Tony! Toni! Toné! sounds modern, and they can successfully accomplish their fusion of the traditional and contemporary. More importantly, they can do this within the framework of memorable, catchy songs, whether its the party funk of "Let's Get Down" or the balladry of "Let Me Know." In short, House of Music continues the Tonies' tradition of excellence and demonstrates that the group is getting stronger and better all the time.

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