For someone like me, who doesn’t usually get into the R&B scene, this was a hard call to make, because it’s really not something I would ever listen to, left to my own devices. But by the fourth or fifth track, I got past the lyrical bling-blinging and got into the groove that Koffee Brown emanates. It’s a very classy, jazzy sound, even when their rapping guest stars do their part. Mars/Venus is brassy and fun; it’s total weekend music (hence the single, “Weekend Thing”), and it’s something that you don’t have to commit a lot to to listen and understand. Out of everything, I found the interludes most interesting; the first, a recording of women being polled about what they hate about men, and the second, a (rather good) poem by muMs and Arian Pope. Just when I think I’ve got them figured out, the track changes and everything is different. Koffee Brown will keep you guessing with samples from The Young and the Restless theme and a very interesting number toward the end of the album that sounds like a remixed Christmas song. If you’re looking for something different and new to beef up your R&B arsenal, I’d recommended this, but if you’re not into R&B, it’s not earth-shattering enough to stress over owning.
Arista Records, 6 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019