2019, 1 track, 3 mins 48 sec
“Fresh” is about a new girl in town who is really more gorgeous than any before – yet, we can imagine it’s just that the boys are mesmerized that she is something different. Her looks and sex appeal are brand new, and this electro funk song is celebrates her. The hot and Poppy dance track also entered the word “Fresh” into the lexicon, as it came to represent anything good or cool. The African American community of course had been using the term for years before this popular track, but this son often gets the lion’s share of the credit for the slang’s introduction. James J.T. Taylor sings “conversation is going 'round, people talking 'bout the girl who's come to town, lovely lady, pretty as can be, no one knows her name she's just a mystery.” These lyrics are very decent, mainly because they tell a bit of a story, when this dance track could have just relied more typically on shout outs and self aware lyrics revolving on the song’s sound or genre. Instead, we can imagine the excitement that surround this mystery woman, wanting to see her just as much as the narrator. With a cool voice that sometimes dips into a Southern drawl from time to time (Taylor was born in Laurens, South Carolina), he sings the super electric hook with energy and emotion; “She's fresh, exciting, she's so exciting to me, she's fresh, exciting, she's so inviting to me, yeah.” At times, there is an over emphasis on the words that seems cartoonish, as if an attempt is being made to really sell the points being made, but unlike Michael Blackmon’s pronunciation on Cameo tracks of the eighties, it never becomes the focus. This outlandishness was a popular party style, especially on Funk tracks as they became more and more Pop friendly – yet, in Taylor’s case, he was more smooth with his delivery for the most part, throwing extra style more as a way of providing an exclamation point at the end of a dope sentence. Also in keeping up with the popularity of Michael Jackson, Taylor’s vocals here are high, soft at times, but possess a lot of punch as well, which audiences would respond to very well. There are moments when the listener can close their eyes, and here not just Michael Jackson, but El DeBarge, whose band DeBarge were going for the same sound in the eighties.
Robert Earl BellRonald Nathan BellJames L BonnefondGeorge Melvin BrownClaydes Charles SmithJames "J.T." TaylorCurtis "Fitz" WilliamsSandy Linzer, JT Taylor, Sandy Linzer, JT Taylor, Sandy Linzer
"Fresh" is a song by the American group Kool & the Gang. Released as a single in 1984 from the album Emergency, the song peaked at #11 on the UK chart, #9 on the U.S. Hot 100 charts, and was number one on both the U.S. R&B and dance charts. The song introduced a new meaning to the word "fresh", meaning "good".