Full of Flavor
Exhibit A is the album's first single, "Baby Boy Baby Girl," which features guest vocals by gritty Soul singer Anthony Hamilton. The song, about being a good parent, is a strong reminder of the power of unconditional love and how important being a good parent is. Message songs can sometimes be too preachy, but Mint Condition manages make this one hip and catchy and not all all overbearing. The band also puts a new spin on some old topics, such as cheating lovers (via the song "Somethin'," which features Phonte of the hip-hop crew Little Brother); the love song "Just Believe;" and the playful "Golddigger," in which lead singer Stokely Williams courts a woman by telling her that he wants her to be his personal golddigger, which is a twist on the recent trend of songs that diss and denounce women looking for rich men to take care of them.
Music As Art
If the album's flawed at all, it's that the middle third of the album contains a series nondescript ballads that at first listen sound a little too ordinary. But upon further listening, its these songs that contain some of the album's best lyrics, such as the sexy "Moan," and album's title track, which deals with living life in our increasingly electronic, automated and digital world.
As mentioned above, this is overall an excellent album and one of the best of 2008. A big reason why is that the band still makes completely organic music. Amazingly, the group has had the same lineup since their 1991 debut album - Stokley Williams (vocals), Lawrence El (piano, keyboards), Rick Kinchen (bass, lead guitar), Homer O'Dell (rhythm guitar) and Jeffrey Allen (saxophone, keyboards. And all their time performing together has turned them into one of the best bands in all of music. E-E-Life is concrete proof of this. People have mourned the death of "real" R&B in recent years, but on E-Life, music as art is reborn.