As Mint Condition perseveres in its noble efforts to preserve the legacy of true R&B, the group has released “Music @ the Speed of Life,” now available in stores and online outlets.

The self-contained band, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011 with the critically acclaimed album titled “7,” lives up to its usual high standard on its new 13-track disc, and Stokley’s recognizable lead vocals are as clear and compelling as ever.

“In the Moment,” the opening track, is reminiscent of the R&B/Rock fusion that became so popular with true audiophiles in the 70s through artists such as the Chambers Brothers, Santana, Sly & the Family Stone and Buddy Miles.

Mint Condition is comprised of superb instrumentalists, and their material is quite sophisticated musically. Unfortunately, such excellence is not routinely awarded in today’s cloned, auto-tuned musical landscape, and I applaud their adventurous spirit as far as employing the captivating instrumental grooves and rhythms heard in “Blessed” and “Girl of My Life,” although their tracks are missing the strong hooks present in their captivating hits, “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” and “What Kind of Man Would I Be,” which demanded radio airplay and seduced you into singing along.

Even so Mint Condition never disappoints, and you can hear live renditions of the new material from “Music @ the Speed of Life” when the band comes to the Keswick Theatre, for one show only, on October 7 at 7:30 p.m. Their special guest will be singer/songwriter Vivian Green.

Of their latest collection, the band says, “Life was our inspiration; fast-paced, multi-faceted, adventurous and ever-changing. Our music is drawn from various sources, and the lyrics speak to the hard knocks as well as the triumphs of life.”

Prime Cuts:
“In the Moment”
“Slo Woman”
“Be Where You Are”

Kimberly C. Roberts

Special to the NNPA from the Philadelphia Tribune