Second Chance

Second Chance

4.7 7
by El DeBarge

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El DeBarge was away longer than he was around. The first DeBarge album and the last El DeBarge album were separated by 13 years, and then 16 years passed between Heart, Mind & Soul and Second Chance. Apart from a handful of guest appearances during the latter half of the '90s and early 2000s, El was (to put it mildly) out of


El DeBarge was away longer than he was around. The first DeBarge album and the last El DeBarge album were separated by 13 years, and then 16 years passed between Heart, Mind & Soul and Second Chance. Apart from a handful of guest appearances during the latter half of the '90s and early 2000s, El was (to put it mildly) out of commission. So it's extraordinary that this, his fifth solo album, exists. It's something else that he's in top form. Working with an assortment of mostly complementary collaborators, including Ron Fair, Mike City, Jam & Lewis, and the Avila Brothers, El tends to stick to sweet love songs -- pleasurable, fresh updates of his tried and true approach. His voice remains capable of elevating substandard material, not that there is much of it here. The acrobatic falsetto and supple harmonies are as present as ever. While the first ten songs would have made for a strong return on their own, the final three put Second Chance over the top as one of the year's best R&B albums. The rippling "Sad Songs" and the sparse "The Other Side," two of the three songs written with Jam & Lewis, illustrate heartbreak while tapping into a vivid anguish that El had never before approached. They are both exceptionally poignant; anyone with the vaguest idea about the singer's struggles will hear them as more than just remorseful breakup songs. In this context, the closing "Second Chance" -- issued as the album's lead single -- sounds nothing short of triumphant. [Initial copies of the album, released in late November 2010, came with a three-song, Christmas-themed bonus disc.]

Product Details

Release Date:
Geffen Records

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

DeBarge   Primary Artist,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Vocoder
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Bobby Ross Avila   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Celeste,Drums
Rick Baptist   Horn
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Jacqueline Brand   Violin
Brian Dembow   Viola
Stephen Erdody   Celli
Ron Fair   Bass,Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Conductor
Julie Gigante   Violin
John Goux   Guitar
Jimmy Jam   Percussion,Strings,Keyboards
Carole Kleister-Castillo   Viola
Warren Leuning   Horn
George Merrill   Background Vocals
Joe Meyer   Horn
Mischke   Background Vocals
Helen Nightengale   Violin
Robin Olson   Violin
Sid Paige   Violin
Katia Popov   Violin
Shannon Rubicam   Background Vocals
Cecilia Tsan   Celli
Josefina Vergara   Violin
John Wittenberg   Violin
Ken Yerke   Violin
Gayle Levant   Harp
Faith Evans   Vocals
Robert Peterson   Violin
Suzie Katayama   Conductor
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach   Horn
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Timothy Landauer   Celli
Rudy Stein   Celli
Nico Abondolo   Bass
Chris Bleth   Alto Flute,Oboe
Iz   Percussion,Drums
Paul Klintworth   Horn
Roberto Cani   Violin
Trevor Handy   Celli
Timothy Loo   Celli
Sarah Thornblade   Violin
Ryan Roberts   Bass
Leo Mellace   Guitar
Alyssa Park   Violin
Gerardo Hilera   Violin
Songa Lee   Violin
Henry Gronnier   Violin
Steve Richards   Celli
Tereza Stanislav   Violin
Aaron Oltman   Viola
Jeanie Lim   Viola
Yelena Yegoryan   Violin
Robert Brophy   Viola
Jason Perry   Keyboards
Armen Ksajikian   Celli
Nina Evthuhov   Violin
Tiffany Yi Hu   Violin
Thomas Diener   Viola
Victoria Miskolczy   Viola
Phillip Levy   Violin
Tamara Hatwan   Violin
Mario de León   Violin
Lily Ho Chen   Violin
Razdan Kuyumjian   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola
Sarah Parkins   Violin
Thomas Harte   Bass
Hot Sauce   Guitar

Technical Credits

Bobby Ross Avila   drum programming
DeBarge   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Ron Fair   Producer,Executive Producer,drum programming,Orchestral Arrangements,Additional Production
Clark Germain   Engineer
John Goux   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Jimmy Jam   Producer,Vocal Engineer
Terry Lewis   Composer,Producer,Vocal Engineer
George Merrill   Engineer
Mischke   Composer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Allen Sides   Engineer
Suzie Katayama   String Arrangements
James Harris   Composer
Todd Gallopo   Art Direction
Sam Salter   Vocal Producer
Mike City   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Christian Davis   Producer,Engineer
Tal Herzberg   Engineer,Pro-Tools
Jeff Halbert   Engineer
Ianthe Zevos   Creative Art
Pete Farmer   Executive Producer
John D. Norten   Engineer
Avila Brothers   Producer
Tremaine "Six7" Williams   Engineer
Corey Shoemaker   Engineer
Tal Oz   Engineer
Jeremy Stevenson   Engineer
Mike Snodgress   Marketing Coordinator
Issiah J. Avila   Composer
Awesome Jones   Composer,Producer
Victor "V Dubb" Wilson   Composer,Producer
Gabe Moffatt   Engineer
E.J. Coulter   Composer
Michael Angelo   Producer,Engineer

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Second Chance 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
LadyC-SLT More than 1 year ago
After reading about El DeBarge in Ebony, and all the hardships he went through, then coming out with this CD, Second Chance, I decided this is a must-have and a-want in my CD collection. My curiosity got the best of me, as I was wondering if he still had that soft romantic voice, especially singing "Who's Holding Donna Now", "Rhythm of the Night" and "I Like It" while he was with his group, DeBarge. Ooh, la, la, he still sounds good, 25 years later, and the CD has me reminiscing my favorite song, "Who's Holding Donna Now". I am just so glad that I purchased this CD for my holiday enjoyment, along with R. Kelly's Love Letter and Sade's Soldier of Love.
blastermaster20 More than 1 year ago
An accident made me pick up this CD, and I am so glad for that accident. I had no idea that EL had been in the business for almost 20 years. And his hardships made me that much more curious as to if he still had it or not. The first song told me not to worry. He did an album that not many people paid to titled "In the Storm." Right then and there I knew that there would always be someone with "Marvin Gaye" in his heart. EL is that person. From his piano playing, overdubbing, re-recording his own voice for backgrounding, his four part harmony. All this from a man that was not afraid to be himself. From the first song, a duet with "Faith Evans", to the last song where he makes you remember "Micheal Jackson." This CD is nothing but a non-stop party and head-bobbing good time. Not everything is perfect, but boy will you love what he has done. And the one song that you have to hear is "How Can You Love Me", he is not the least bit afraid to showcase all his talents in one song. From the piano playing, to the background in four, count them 4 part harmony. You will wear out your replay button and I am and will be using this in my future music, written or sung. It should be required listening and learning by all college MUSIC MAJORS. He dose it almost perfectly, and you hear the invisible "fifth voice" that is so well known by Barber Shop Quartets. EL makes you remember Marvin Gaye with every selection. The way Marvin could make you wonder how one man have so much talent in such a small body. Anyone over 50 needs to listen to Marvin's "WHATS GOING ON", then play this and hear what is there and see if you don't go back to a time when we had so much fun. But the world was so much in trouble. Welcome back EL. We missed you and needed you right about now. Please stick around for a while, this time. PLEASE!!!
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