Ranking the Best Boyz II Men Albums

I get it.

Despite being one of the best-selling groups in music history and leading the charge for R&B during its most profitable period, I understand why their legacy is so overlooked today.

Boyz II Men never had that bad-boy swag that still captivates today like Jodeci. They weren’t backed by megastar labels Bad Boy Records and So So Def Recordings. They don’t have multiple movies dedicated to their career like New Edition. They didn’t have a flamboyant breakout star like Dru Hill. And for the most part, they all but vanished from the mainstream scene by the turn of the century.

Their glory days may have proceeded Twitter hype and think pieces, but make no mistake – if you’re an R&B fan you owe a huge debt to Boyz II Men. They helped build this house. 25 million sales in the U.S., seven no. 1 singles, three No. 1 albums, a bunch of record-setting accomplishments on Billboard and enough songs to fill your little brother’s talent show prove that point.

Today we’re looking back at the storied career of one of the most important groups in R&B history, ranking the albums from bottom to top. As always, quality, vocal performances and staying power determined our rankings and, yes, we’re skipping that classic Christmas album and any greatest hits compilations (with one sorta-exception you’ll see below).


12. Collide (2014)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3 stars out of 5

Edd said: Oh yeah, this album. Collide has the dubious reputation of being Boyz II Men’s worst set. And … that’s absolutely right, though it’s not quite the disaster it’s often labeled to be. Collide’s biggest sin is that it’s insanely schizophrenic, jumping from doo-wop to awkward pop songs that throw the guys way out of their comfort zones. It’s an attempt at evolution that was sorely misguided.

Forgotten favorites: “Better Half,” “Losing Sleep,” “Don’t Stop”


11. Love (2009)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3 stars out of 5

Edd said: For those of you out of the loop, let me fill you in – Boyz II Men recorded a lot of cover albums. And I mean A LOT. While most of the upcoming cover albums on this list are themed, the rules are a lot looser for Love, which is basically remakes of, duh, love songs. While they do put a new twist on a few old favorites, the song selections aren’t very inspiring.

Forgotten favorites: “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” “Amazed,” “Time After Time”

motown a journey

10. Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA (2007)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Boyz II Men are the descendants of the Motown sound, so this tribute to the era isn’t all that surprising. And that’s the problem – it’s a great history lesson but not much else. Despite the expert performances and cool a capella moments it’s a pretty predictable set.

Forgotten favorites: “Just My Imagination,” “Ribbon in the Sky,” “All this Love”

under the streetlight

9. Under the Streetlight (2017)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: HEY GUYS, WANT MORE COVERS? On their most recent effort B2M take things way back – nearly every song here was originally recorded in the 60s. As usual with these covers, Boyz II Men are in their element. But this time around, lots of guests stop by for assistance – from Take 6 to Brian McKnight – which gives this LP some much-needed lyrical diversity. The heavy emphasis on doo-wop probably won’t sit well with today’s autotune-loving ears but it still sits as one of their most intriguing cover sets.

Forgotten favorites: “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “Tears on My Pillow”

the remedy

8. The Remedy (2006)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Props if you knew this album existed – and even more love if you’ve heard it. The Remedy was initially released exclusively in Japan, making it somewhat of an oddity in the states these days. You can tell the guys were in that weird stage of redefining their sound here, with songwriting that’s uncharacteristically flat and a few eye-rolling attempts at edgier songs that don’t fit their vibe. Those aren’t the norm though, there are a few winners here. It’s enjoyable but pretty spotty.

Forgotten favorites: “Here I Come,” “Misunderstanding,” “The Last Time”

throwback vol 1

7. Throwback Vol. 1  (2004)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: This was B2M’s first attempt at an album of covers and by far their best. There are a few times where the modern production doesn’t quite sync well with the vintage lyrics but their vocals more than make up for those shortcomings. It’s far from perfect but many of these throwbacks are done justice.

Forgotten favorites: “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “For the Love of You,” “Human Nature”

full circle

6. Full Circle (2002)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Full Circle has been considered by some fans as Boyz II Men’s most underrated work. I don’t quite agree there (my pick for most underrated is still to come, by the way). In many ways, Full Circle reminds me of the R&B releases from industry vets we see today in 2018 – every song here is performed pitch-perfectly, they just aren’t very memorable. It’s a respectable release but not a game changer. And as a historical reference, this was the last album to feature the trademark bass of  Michael McCary, who retired due to back issues.

Forgotten favorites: “That’s Why I Love You,” “Oh Well,” “On the Road Again”

nathan michael shawn wanya

5. Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya (2000)

Soul In Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: This was probably the biggest treat I received while revisiting B2M’s incredible catalog. As the world of R&B revolved around them circa 2000, this release stood firm, arguably the last album that truly gave us that trademark B2M sound from front to back. An incredibly solid release filled with hidden gems that’s rarely discussed today.

Forgotten favorites: “Dreams,” “Never Go Away,” “Lovely”


4. Twenty (2011)

Soul In Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Now THIS is how you make a comeback. After years and years and YEEEARS of cover albums, Boyz II Men celebrated their legacy with Twenty, their first stateside release of new material since Full Circle in ’02. One disc served as a greatest hits collection but it’s the other disc – composed of all new songs – that’s the real keeper. A fantastic blend of modern production and their trademark harmonies, it showed that B2M was more than capable of keeping up with the times. It’s my pick for the most underrated album in their arsenal.

Forgotten favorites: “So Amazing,” “Will You Be There,” “Refuse to be the Reason”


3. Evolution (1997)

Soul In Stereo rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Most R&B fans, myself included, have a very bad habit of writing off B2M after the incredible success of their sophomore album. Big mistake, playa, Boyz II Men were still on fire circa 1997. Evolution sounds like a natural progression from II without feeling like a total rehash. “A Song for Mama” might get top billing but it’s just one of many incredible offerings. Evolution comes very close to taking the second spot on this list, it’s that good.

Forgotten favorites: “Doin Just Fine,” “To the Limit,” “Can You Stand the Rain”


2. Cooleyhighharmony (1991)

Soul In Stereo rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: You couldn’t have asked for a better coming out party. Four stars were born in 1991, quickly becoming the best-selling R&B male group OF ALL TIME. And it began right here, with a “doo-wop hip-hop” sound that pried R&B from the grip of New Jack Swing and and ushered in a new era of vocal mastery that has still yet to be matched. No one sounded like these guys in 1991, and this album became their calling card.

Forgotten favorites: “This is My Heart,” “Little Things,” “Your Love”


1. II (1994)

Soul In Stereo rating: 5 stars out of 5

Edd said: If Cooleyhighharmony made Boyz II Men stars, II made them legends. The singles were anchored to the top of the Billboard charts seemingly for eternity; the album cuts themselves were masterful. Nearly every song on this set is synonymous with 90s R&B because they were such a big part of its story. If you’re still wondering just how R&B became such a huge mainstream force in the 1990s, look no further than II, one of the greatest R&B albums ever recorded.

Forgotten favorites: “Thank You,” “I Sit Away,” “Trying Times”

What are your favorite Boyz II Men albums? Share ’em below.


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