From "Pain" to "Heaven Must Be Like This" and "Sweet Sticky Thing," the Ohio Players often fared well when they incorporated elements of jazz. Jazz influences were especially strong when they recorded Mr. Mean, a soundtrack album that contains its share of instrumentals and received a variety of reactions from fans. More subtle than other Players projects, this R&B/jazz effort didn't emphasize the type of hard, aggressive funk they were best known for. To be sure, Mr. Mean had its detractors, who saw it as too laidback. But while it's far from one of the Players' best albums, songs ranging from the clever title song to "The Big Score" and "Fight Me, Chase Me" aren't bad. And to their credit, the Players were experimenting and taking chances -- some of which pay off, and some of which don't.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson