August 04, 2018

Bobby Brown - King of Stage (1986)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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© 1986 MCA Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Bobby Brown's style was still fairly close to that of his comrades in New Edition when he recorded his first solo effort, King of Stage -- an album giving little indication of the hard-edged, aggressive "new jack swing" that was only two years away on Don't Be Cruel. While comparisons to his subsequent work are inevitable, Stage is a generally decent, though not breathtaking, album that stands on its own merit -- and one that proves that there was indeed life outside of New Edition for the singer/rapper. Although Cameo leader Larry Blackmon, who serves as producer on "Girl Next Door," "Spending Time" and "Baby I Wanna Tell You Something," brings an undeniably Cameo-ish element to these high-tech funk smokers, Brown's individuality comes through loud and clear. But as enjoyable as the Blackmon-produced tracks are, top honors must go to "Seventeen" -- a riveting account of a teenage mother who turns to drugs and prostitution -- and the unapologetically sentimental, '70s-like soul ballad "Girlfriend." Brown sounds like he's going through the motions on the Rick James-ish "Your Tender Romance" and the lackluster ballad "Spending Time," but thankfully, Stage has more strengths than weaknesses.

tags: bobby brown, king of stage, 1986, flac,

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