Amidst a flood of soulful early-1990s groups that offered up dulcet vocal harmonies (Jodeci, Shai, etc.), Mint Condition rose to prominence with the R&B/pop crossover hit "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)." Over a decade later, when many of those acts had folded or faded into obscurity, Mint Condition stayed strong with five of its original six members intact for 2005's LIVIN' THE LUXURY BROWN. The Minneapolis group survived because they were more than a paint-by-numbers R&B ensemble; they played together for years before their break, and reflected influences ranging from jazz legend Oscar Peterson to Funkadelic to the Delfonics.
Over 20 years into their career, Mint Condition still serve up funky, inspired concoctions (mixed with the occasional unrestrained ballad) on LIVIN' THE LUXURY BROWN. The first single, "I'm Ready," hearkens back to their aforementioned hit, before bleeding into the aching "Love Your Tears." On the '80s-era New Jack Swing-style "Luxury Brown," the group evens lays down a Parliament-like guitar interlude. Mint Condition formed in the city of Prince, and they share a bit of his adventurousness on this energetic record.