Target Practice

Target Practice: New Edition “Candy Girl”

Welcome to Target Practice where bad popular songs of the past and present get shot. Let’s talk about New Edition. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant formed the R&B group that were discovered by Maurice Starr and blew up in the 80s. Bobby Brown was eventually kicked out of the group in 1985 and while he pursued a solo career, his former bandmates continued on with new member Johnny Gill. New Edition took a hiatus in the 90s where Ralph and Johnny Gill pursued solo careers and Ricky, Michael, and Ronnie formed Bell Biv Devoe. In 1996, the group reunited along with Bobby Brown to release a new album Home Again, which was a massive success compared to their previous works. I stated this when I was doing lists for the 80s, but I like New Edition and they have some really dope songs. However, I’m not a fan of their early material. A bit too sugary for my tastes and it hasn’t really aged that well. Cool It Now was on my Worst of ’85 list and I stand by saying it was horrible. In that same list, I implied that I was gonna do a Target Practice on today’s victim. Almost three years later and here we are. This is Candy Girl.

My girl's like candy, a candy treat
She knocks me high up off my feet
She's so fine, as can be
I know this girl is meant for me

Does candy normally knock people off their feet? Maybe that has to do with coming off of a sugar rush and you’re just laid out from it. Just a thought.

Candy girl
You are my world
You look so sweet
You're a special treat
Candy girl
All I want to say
When you're with me
You brighten up my day

I mean… do I have to say anything about this chorus? Aside from using the candy metaphor, it also rhymes “girl” with “world,” one of the easiest and most obvious rhyme schemes in the history of songwriting. Do not play a drinking game around finding songs that use the girl/world rhyme because there’s so many, you would die from alcohol poisoning.

All I know
When I'm with you
You make me feel so good
Through and through
The way you walk
And the way you talk
You always look so good
You make me forget my thoughts

In other words, she gave you a stiffy.

Do you really love me (do you really love me)
Don't you really care (don't you really care)
Do you really need me (do you really need me)
And will you always be there

I got nothing for this one. It’s filler. Next.

Every night and every day
I'm always thinking of you in every way
All I know
When I'm with you
You make me feel so good
Through and through

And one of those ways involves a lot of Kleenex and Jergens.

Candy girl
You are my world
You're everything, everything, everything to me
Candy girl
All I want to say
I need your love, each and every day!

I’ll give the chorus this: it is like candy. Lots of sugar and empty calories. After that, we get… this.

Hey fellas
Check out Mike & Bobby's little lady
Ooooooh eeeeeeh
Well check out Ricky & Ralph's
Ooooooh eeeeeeh
What about Ronnie's
She's bad
She's bad
I know she's bad

Wait. Are these dudes actually sharing the same women?

She walks so fast she looks so sweet
She makes my heart just skip a beat
My girl the best and that's no lie
She tells me that I'm her only guy
That might be true but my girls a joy
She don't play around, she's right to the point
My girls like candy a candy treat
She knocks me hot up off my feat

And now we have a rap bridge because it’s the 80s and this was way back when rap for the most part sounded like Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. After this, the rest of the song repeats itself, so I think I can just wrap it up here.

This song is sour candy. The production is that 80s sound that belongs to the 80s and I don’t mean that as a compliment, either. The writing is your generic bubblegum love song that milks the hell out of the candy metaphor. But what pushes this song to bad for me is the vocals, especially from Ralph Tresvant. I do not like his voice here. He sounds like a bad Michael Jackson impersonator, which isn’t surprising considering that every member of New Edition were between the ages of 13 and 15 when they recorded this and they were emulating the style of the Jackson 5. Fortunately, they got better with age thanks to a refined, more mature sound that complimented their improving vocals. As for tooth-rotting junk like this? Let’s leave it behind. Next Target Practice, …

This will be fun.



Hit Me Off-New Edition


3 thoughts on “Target Practice: New Edition “Candy Girl”

  1. Yeah this song sucks hard. The production is what everyone thinks of the 80s at its most dated especially with those synthesizer noises. The lyrics are lame and the lead singer’s voice is super annoying. He sounds like a little kid despite being a teenager at the time. Thankfully, they outgrew this for a batter mature sound.

    The next Target Practice will definitely be fun. You should also think of covering Ebony and Ivory with the protests going on now and how poorly the song has aged with its message of racial equality.

    Just posted my latest review on Christina Aguilera’s Genie in a Bottle in my 1999 review series

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