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Music @ the Speed of Life

Mint Condition

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Album Review

In terms of content and quality, not much differentiates Music @ the Speed of Life from 7..., Mint Condition's previous album. The most noticeable distinction between the releases is the greater amount of collaborative work on this one. Eric Leeds (Prince, Madhouse, Fdeluxe) plays saxophone and flute and arranged the horns. On four songs, unobtrusive talkbox is provided by Bobby Ross Avila, a longtime Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis associate who (like Mint Condition) recorded for Jam & Lewis' A&M-affiliated boutique label. The presence of the talkbox, not to be confused with Auto-Tune, is no random authenticator; in the sleeve, the band acknowledges innovator Roger Troutman, as well as his son, "co-conspirator" Roger Troutman Lynch. Leeds and Avila's contributions give the album a funkier, slightly bolder edge. Otherwise, this is standard-issue Mint Condition. As ever, the band's unmistakably live sound is in effect, and all of the material is relatable, from "Believe in Us" (fostering faith in love) to "Blessed" (remaining positive in the face of conflict). What initially sounds like a lull during the album's middle third eventually reveals some subtly affecting material, reminding listeners that Mint Condition don't have to be flashy to shine. Additional bright spots come from DJ Jazzy Jeff, whose turntables add color to "Girl of My Life," and Brother Ali, who drops a nostalgic and hushed verse on the finale. The musicians are on a roll; this is the shortest span of time in which they have released three studio albums, and each release should be heard by anyone who has enjoyed the '90s output.

Customer Reviews

I'm BIASED!!

I will buy EVERY album that Mint Condition releases. Fan for life!!!
Dangeruss Curvs

Straight from the Mint Factory

The Minneapolis based R&B band is back and they brought their signature "Gumbo" with them. Following up 2011's album "7" with Music @ the Speed of Life, the group has evolved their sound to embrace new styles, while evoking that Minneapolis sound. If you are a fan of Mint Condition, or are just discovering this great band, you will not be disappointed with this album.

Music @ The Speed of Life

The fellas from the twin cities have done it this time. If you appreciate Mint, they've taken it to that Livin' The Luxury Brown type album with hit after hit after hit. Amazing lyrics, incredible music at all tempos (slow, medium, fast), even Stokely on steel drums.

This is gonna be in rotation for a while and my favorite is going to bounce around from cut to cut!

Biography

Formed: St. Paul, MN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in the early '80s in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mint Condition began as lead singer Stokley Williams, guitarist Homer O'Dell, keyboardist Larry Waddell, keyboardist/saxophonist Jeff Allen, keyboardist/guitarist Keri Lewis, and guitarist/bassist Rick Kinchen. The six talented musicians combined a variety of influences and experiences to shape their own sound. Williams began playing classic West African instruments at the age of four, while O'Dell grew up listening to his father play blues bass and...
Full Bio