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In Essence
The Master Plan

Genre: R&B

Official Website

by Lauren Bailey

Following in the footsteps of R&B crooners Boys 2 Men and Jodeci, In Essence slides onto the R&B scene with their debut album, The Master Plan. The five-member group came together ten years ago and recently shot to success after attending a New York City music conference where legendary DJ Funkmaster Flex was slotted to appear.

The group decided to take matters in their own hands at the conference and boldly set up a stereo, pumping the group’s music, directly in front of Flex’s venue. It wasn’t long before Touch, Que, Dru, Smooth and Pops had the whole crowd shaking a tail feather. By the end of their New York trip, the Toronto-based group had Flex’s attention, as well as a management deal with the renowned DJ. Flex added the group’s ‘You Will Never Find’ to his Funkmaster Flex’s Mix Tape Vol. 4. The song became an instant hit and proved to be the group’s entry into the elusive U.S. market.

Fresh off their label, BMG Canada, The Master Plan showcases 10 songs, including I.E, Friend of Mine and Closer. All three songs enjoy heavy rotation on urban radio stations across the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the album features six interludes where each member tells a story, which unfortunately are vapid. By the time you get to Smooth’s story, third on the CD, you begin to yearn for the more creative styles of entertainers like Mary J. Blige. The undisputed Queen of R&B and Soul is famous for using interludes to throw in a wild rap by an artist with mad skills. Although all members have a great voice individually, together their harmonies are weak. However, like true R&B artists, In Essence drops well-pressed rhythms that hail from the band’s Jamaican roots, along with Latin, rock and tribal-based tempos that surprise their listeners into unexpected enjoyment.

In Essence is in Toronto to play with fellow R&B heartthrob Shawn Desman and talented newcomer Keshia Chanté at the Kool Haus on Saturday, September 27th.

Track listing:

1. Touch Interlude
2. Who Are We
3. You Will Never Find
4. S.T. Interlude
5. I.E.
6. Friend of Mine
7. MelodI.E.
8. Smooth Interlude
9. Do Whatcha Like
10. Closer
11. Pops Interlude
12. Change
13. Dru Interlude
14. Go Ahead
15. Lay You Down
16. Que Interlude 

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