With their second album, Time and Chance (Giant), Color Me Badd offers more doo-wop in hip-hop clothing. But if you can skip past the ethnically correct, just-stepped-out-of-a-Levi’s-ad look (Sam Watters is white, Kevin Thornton is black, Bryan Abrams is Native American, and Mark Calderon is Hispanic), you just might notice that since “I Wanna Sex You Up” — their delicately titled 1991 debut — these slick, bubblegum crooners have polished their dapper, harmony-rich pop ballads to a spit shine.
And as the thumping Sly and the Family Stone-inspired “Let Me Have It All” shows, they are no longer afraid to get their boots scuffed by stepping in a little funk now and again. In fact, funk is just the right medicine to counterbalance CMB’s tendency to lapse into fluffy, “What’s your sign?”-type rhapsodies about how tough looking for that very special lady is for sensitive guys like them.
But that’s not to say CMB has gone and gotten mature on us. Your teenage sister will still love them: Even if there’s no “I Wanna Sex You Up” here, “How Deep” and “Groovy Time” provide plenty of hip-grinding slow burns and heartthrob cooing to keep her knee-deep in hunk ecstasy. A-