Vinyl LP pressing. The neo-soul movement of the late '90s, 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 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 '90s, which helped expand contemporary R&B's sound, render Billboard hits out the tracks "Tell Me" (which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100), "Keep Tryin'", and "Baby Luv", and even found the time for a Todd Rundgren cover.