Album Review • One things for certain & two things for sure… Mint Condition will give the people live instruments. Discovered by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis in 1989, the group brought back bands using live instruments. We hadn’t seen a band like Mint Condition since Earth Wind & Fire in the 70’s with a band member on 6 different instruments. With the lead vocals by the amazing Stokley, there was no doubt they would be a successful group.
Their debut album “Meant to Be Mint” added to the New Jack Swing sound that was at it’s height in the early 90’s. With songs like “Are You Free”, “Here We Go Again” & “True to Three”, you could hear Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis touch all over that album. Listening to this album makes me visualize a 90’s house party. These album cuts are for sure what Play would have been playing at his parents house in House Party. I can see the cross colors blowing in the wind now.
Their first single “Are You Free” didn’t do that great on the charts but when they released that second single “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” they had R&B in a chokehold. Still their biggest hit to date, BMH is one of those 90’s songs you must have on your 90’s playlist. If you play that in a group & everyone doesn’t whisper “Pre-tty…brown…eyes” as soon as it come on then you need to throw that group in the trash & start over. “Breakin’ My Heart” is up there with “Can We Talk” & “Weak” when 90’s classics are mentioned.
Majority of the album was uptempo with a few ballads like “Forever in Your Eyes”. When I listen to this song, I visualize a guy performing this at a talent show in the 90’s singing to his crush with his Gordon Gartrelle shirt halfway unbuttoned, pelvic thrusting at the end of the stage. Making the girls melt in their seats like Eddie Kane Jr. in The Five Heartbearts.
If you want to experience the New Jack Swing era put this album on. It gave pure Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis from top to bottom. With Stokley’s unique vocals, this album should be brought up in the conversation when discussing some of the top albums in the 90’s. The arrangements were impeccable & Stokley’s mic is ALWAYS on so take that to the bank!