Vibe - 12/96, p.179
"...Minneapolis-based septet borrow from their sublime predecessors and combine those lessons with the sensibilities of hometown legends like Prince and the Revolution and the Time..."
Mint Condition: Stokley Williams (vocals, various instruments); Homer O'Dell (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, programming, background vocals); Jeffrey Allen (strings, tenor saxophone, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 organ, keyboards, Arp synthesizer, background vocals); Keri "K.L." Lewis (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming, background vocals); Larry Wadell (piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals); Ricky Kinchen (acoustic bass, bass, programming, background vocals); Chris "Daddy" Dave (drums, background vocals).
Additional personnel: Lil' Roger Lynch (talk box); "Big" Jim Wright (Hammond B-3 organ).
Recorded at Flyte Tyme Studios, Edina, Minnesota and Tricord Studios, Edin Prairie, Minnesota.
Audio Mixer: Charles "Prince Charles" Alexander .
One look at Mint Condition's list of "bands that inspired us" says all you need to know about this talented outfit: Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament-Funkadelic, Led Zeppelin...uhh, Led Zeppelin? Well, perhaps in spirit, but there's not much evidence of Zep here. No, the orientation is funk, plain and simple: mostly slow-tempo, mostly ballads, with a few straight-up dance-floor jams thrown in. In other words, you may shake your butt, but you will shake it sloooowly. There are jazz inflections throughout, as well as some beautiful ballads (see the fine slow jam "You Don't Have to Hurt No More").
Most of all, though, these guys can flat out play--and flat out sing. The musicianship on Mint Condition's third album is first-rate throughout, and the ambitious, multi-layered vocal arrangements are a true aural pleasure. Lead vocalist Stokley seems to have molded his style as a combination of current romantic balladeers. This is a lush record, a well-realized, well-crafted example of modern soul music (with a little metal-like heaviness thrown in for good measure). Highly recommended.