Mint Condition

7...

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Indeed, this is Mint Condition's seventh studio album, released almost 20 years after the first. The self-referencing title track -- a brief hip-hop interlude -- is the only instance where the band looks back. Though they’ve kept to the vivid “all the way live” sound that emphasizes their aptitude as instrumentalists, they continue to develop their writing, making relatable and uplifting songs that leave a lasting impression. As always, the material is designed for performance. Had MC played this album for fans expecting old material, hearing “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” would have become an afterthought around the transition from the anguished, slow-pounding opener “Can’t Get Away” to the strutting funk jam “I Want It.” On these songs, heavy synthesizer bass and strapping bass guitar work in tandem to make some of the band’s hardest rhythms. At least three other songs would be worthy of inclusion on a Mint Condition best-of: the elegant, midtempo “Walk On” and “Mind Slicker” were evidently inspired by a bad relationship, while “Not My Daddy,” featuring Kelly Price, was written by Price and Warryn Campbell (Mary Mary) but sounds like classic Mint Condition. It’s a shame this band gets a small fraction of the airplay granted to those who have followed in their footsteps (Ne-Yo, for one). Two decades into their career, they're making some of their best music.

blue highlight denotes track pick