7. New Edition "If It Isn't Love" (1988)
Album: Heart Break
Label: UMG Recordings
Producer: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
In 1988, the "Candy Girl" and "Mr. Telephone Man" schtick was out the window. New Edition had transformed from innocent teens wondering about the complexities of romance to young adults. "If It Isn't Love" was New Edition at its most intense as lead singer Ralph Tresvant confronted a foe called Love. But the Jackson 5-esque bridge near the end of the song retained a touch of the childish optimism that longtime fans loved. Funny enough, "If It Isn't Love" was held out of the No. 1 spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Charts by the very same man New Edition voted out of the group—Bobby Brown and his smash hit "Don't Be Cruel."