We gave it a C+
Michael Bivins, the New Edition child star who now raps and sings for Bell Biv DeVoe, might soon be known as the man who modernized Motown. After forming his own production company, Biv Entertainment, Bivins brought two multiplatinum acts, Another Bad Creation and Boyz II Men, to the historic R&B label, which had been hungry for new hits. And now Bivins has another big seller with 17-year-old rapper M.C. Brains, whose debut album entered the pop charts in the top 50 — though Lovers Lane lacks the spunk of ABC and the emotional texture of Boyz II Men. The album certainly sounds great; the lush, deep grooves swing with confidence and precision, and smaller touches like the ”oochie coochie la la la” chorus and keyboard flourishes of ”Oochie Coochie,” the group’s hit single, beg for Top 40 radio play. But the slower love jams drag rather than moan, and M.C. Brains doesn’t have much presence. Unlike Bivins’ own outfit, M.C. Brains fails to compensate for rudimentary vocals with cocksure attitude.