Young M.C.’s new record, Brainstorm, is an icy shower. For an artist who sold over 2 million copies of his 1989 debut, Stone Cold Rhymin’, won several prestigious music awards, and leaped to a major label (after squirming out of a contract with independent Delicious Vinyl), this 24-year-old refuses to use his enviable clout to take artistic risks. Young M.C. is more technician than poet, preferring to string words together with a nimble tongue than show any passion: ”Do You Feel Like I Do,” a pleading declaration of love, sounds neither desperate nor lusty. Elsewhere, the album decays into a series of cute teenage tales and laughably facile anti-alcohol or anti-smoking sentiments. The one compelling moment comes on ”Listen to the Beat of the Music,” which contains a sensitive reflection on the homeless, layered over a pretty acoustic guitar. Young M.C. is surely capable of creating memorable music, but you won’t hear much of it here. C-

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