Can't Turn Back Now: Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

EVERYBODY GOES THROUGH “PHASES” of music interests and I’m 100% an example of this. When I was real young, like 9-10, I had my angst period - I’m talking straight Linkin Park, Rise Against, Skillet, and Papa Roach on repeat. For most of high school, I was deep in the mixtape rap game. Last summer, it seemed like the only thing I’d listen to was either Afrobeats or Lofi. But the most random phase I ever had was late high school when I almost exclusively listened to 50s and 60s music. Of course I had to cheat a little bit on the actual dates, throwing in songs in the early 70s in the mix. And yet despite that, I fucked up by never finding the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose (CorBros) whose music I now know would’ve taken over my life back then.

Finding the group was the sole responsibility of Spike Lee thanks to Blackkklansman. Not only is it a really good movie but it also has a really good soundtrack filled with hits from the 70s, perfect for the period piece. The CorBros’ most well known song, Too Late To Turn Back Now, shows face in a bar montage scene featuring Ron and Patrice dancing to the beautiful track. The second I heard it I was torn. Half of me needed to know what the hell I was listening to while the other half was pissed this was the first time I was hearing it. All I knew for sure was that I was really happy Spike included it cause I had a feeling I’d be listening to a lot more of the group.

Despite having put out three full albums, all that’s on streaming services are two greatest hits compilations. Since the majority of songs wind up on both, there’s only about 15 songs from CorBros that’s actually available. The result is zero filler and all lovin. Some artists got a topic they typically cover but with some sort of diversity in their content. For CorBros, they took the romanticizing to a whole other level - nearly all their best songs relating to a woman's love in one way or another. Feeling all emotional cause you just love your significant other so much? Go for Since I Found My Baby, Come On Let’s Be Happy Forever, or I Just Can’t Stop Loving You. The writing’s on the wall that your relationship is coming to an end? Let Me Down Easy is the perfect song to keep your confidence up as much as it can be. Getting ready to go out and find someone too woo (no I don’t ever say “woo someone” but to me, it’s a more intimate form of seduction that’s applicable here; besides, CorBros got me feeling nostalgic here)? Shiiit, most their songs will put you in the mood for that, although none may be better than Got to Testify (Love).

The CorBros were a feeling group, one whose music is heavily dependent on the emotions they evoke. Lucky for me, it’s one of the things I like so much about their music. The songs focused on the good parts of a relationship give warmth like none other while the breakup songs are great for a pick-me-up. I find I can’t listen to most albums start to finish. But for their Story of Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose hits album, I need to play that shit straight through. I’ll be honest, I often can’t help but to fantasize about certain situations and this album has made its way into one daydream: it’s a lazy, sunny weekend morning with breakfast on the stove while I’m reenacting Ron and Patrica’s scene with my future girlfriend, all thanks the CorBros playing on our record player. Yea, yea I know it’s corny as fuck but oh well, sue me. That’s the type of feeling I get when I hear their music. It’s a big warm blanket that isolates you and your lover from the rest of the world like you’re in the honeymoon phase for the entire hour the album is playing. Maybe they’re not the best for those who have just had a relationship end, but for those who have someone to love, I don’t think there’s a better group out there.

PERSONAL FAVORITES: Too Late to Turn Back Now, Treat Her Like a Lady, Big Time Lover, Got to Testify (Love), I Keep Falling Deeper and Deeper

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