This is the debut album from the R&B group, hand-picked by Diddy and collectively known as Day26, More than anything else, this album focuses on the musical development of Day 26. Their journey kicks off with the fresh new single, quot;Got Me Going,quot; produced by studio heavy hitter, Mario Winans. In addition to the aforementioned track, DAY 26 features production from the Runners (T.I., Chris Brown, Rick Ross), Jim Bean, Grammy Award- winner Adonis (Diddy, Usher, Danity Kane), and multiple Grammy Award-winner Bryan Michael Cox (Usher, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey). It would be perfectly understandable if fans of Making The Band 4 were a bit skeptical of what would come of the show's final product. After all, the five winners and current members of Day26 -- Brian Andrews, Michael McCluney, Robert Curry, Willie Taylor and Qwannel Mosley -- spent a hefty portion of season two in the shadows of Danity Kane. The two groups may have been friendly rivals, but in every way, Danity Kane made Day26 look like a bunch of amateurs. It was a battle of the sexes and the girls routinely out dressed, out sang and otherwise outshined the guys.
Even after the show ended, it seemed like Danity Kane would continue to tread on Day26. Their new album, Welcome To The Dollhouse, was set to be released immediately before Day26's debut; and as expected, Welcome To The Dollhouse shot to the top of the Billboard charts, giving the rookie band another impossibly high standard to follow.
But then a funny thing happened: Day 26's eponymously titled debut album debuted at the top of the charts, dropping Danity Kane to the No.2 spot. And then another funny thing happened: fans who got to compare and contrast the two albums discovered that Day26 might have actually bettered their rivals in that respect as well. Welcome To The Dollhouse is pretty good, but Day26 is a very good album that should earn them more fans than they had following the show's conclusion.
Forget about what you thought about them on Making The Band. The guys seemed like they were in over their heads back then, but they perform like seasoned veterans on Day26. For example, "Got Me Going" is as hot as anything out right now. The overall production is outstanding, featuring Mario Winans' showy beats that experiment with funky percussions. But Day26 dominates each track, such as the opener, "I'm The Reason."
Some critics have commented that Day26 is Diddy's attempt to recreate 112, sort of like when he signed Shyne as an incarnation of Notorious B.I.G., and that opinion is fairly accurate. There are even two members with the same names -- Q and Mike -- in both groups. But unlike 112, which lived and died behind lead man Slim's vocals, Day26 is a pure group effort in which overall harmonies come first, but ultimately everyone gets a chance to shine. "Come In (My Door's Open)" has an a cappella intro, then breaks into a sultry slow jam. "What It Feels Like" is also a slick slow jam where the collective harmonies carry it the entire way. But of course, there is room for great solos, such as on "Since You've Been Gone."
Diddy may come off like an egomaniacal tyrant on Making The Band, but in reality, he's just a perfectionist who is good at bringing out the best in his artists. Like him or not, he brought out the absolute best from Day26, and the album is the proof.