I’ve noticed from my blog stats that my post REMEMBER M.C. BRAINS? continues to be one of my most-viewed posts, getting several new hits a day, almost 8 months after it was originally published. I guess there’s not much info on him available, so when people do web-searches on him, they’re brought to my blog. Well, I’m no dummy, I’ll do what I can to optimize my SEO. So I went ahead and bought his debut album, LOVERS LANE, just so I could write a review. 🙂 Let’s start.
Released in 1992 on Motown, via Michael Bivens’ Biv 10 imprint, this album contains 9 songs. Starting with the debut single and smash hit OOCHIE COOCHIE. Whatever you want to say about the song, you have to admit that you can’t help but dance when you hear it, that beat is incredible. Lyrically, yeah, it’s a bit silly, Brains makes the song work. The next song on the album is called EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT M.C. BRAINS, which was the 2nd (& last) single released from this album, and lyrically it’s a huge improvement, showing that Brains does, indeed, have talent as a rapper. It’s typical braggadocio raps, set over nice drum beat.
Things take a drastic turn with track 3, BRAINSTORMING. This is a love song, set to a slow mellow R&B beat. What makes this song really stand out is that Brains is backed by BOYS II MEN, who produced this song and sing the chorus and background. Brains’ flow on this feels almost more like “spoken word” than rap, but somehow it works. This is a very good song. The group also produces and sings on the next track, called BOYS II MEN (THE SEQUEL), on which Brains SINGS about his childhood and growing up. As a singer, he’s actually not too bad. But I’d recommend he stick to rapping.
Brains gets back to basics with the 5th track G-STRING, a midtempo almost funk-sounding track, co-rapped with Michael Bivens. This song could have fit in well on a Bell Biv DeVoe album, and sounds like a perfect follow-up to Oochie Coochie. The next song is BRAINS GOIN’ CRAY-ZE which has another funky beat and features Brains rapping both about his skills as a rapper and his skills with the ladies.
The next two songs are THE “B” IS DUMB (the “B” stands for “Beat”) and DON’T LET ME GET LOOSE, two fast tracks with Brains rapping fast. Good songs that showcase his lyrical skills. And the album closes out with the 9th and final song STRAWBERRY LANE, a midtempo beat with Brains back to rapping about the ladies.
Overall, I’d say this album is pretty good, particularly for the time period in which it was released. Most of the songs are designed to get you on the dance floor with some really good New Jack Swing-ish beats, and Brains raps capably, even when the subject matter isn’t too serious. I think, in some ways, this album was a bit ahead of it’s time, this was right when gangsta rap was really blowing up, so I can see why Brains’ ladies man image may not have hit as big as it could’ve. But his style would be right at home today.
Chacebook rating: 4 STARS
Unfortunately, this album is not available on iTunes, other than “Oochie Coochie” as an individual song, so you’ll have to do what I did, and search for the CD on AMAZON