Don't Be Cruel


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    Don't Be Cruel MCA

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Review Text Don't Be Cruel was to Bobby Brown what Control was to Janet Jackson -- a tougher, more aggressive project that shed his "bubblegum" image altogether and brought him to a new artistic and commercial plateau. With "My Prerogative" and the title song, Brown became a leader of new jack swing -- a forceful, high-tech blend of traditional soul singing and rap/hip-hop that's also associated with Guy and Brown's New Edition colleagues, Bell Biv DeVoe. Brown had been a strong advocate of rap since his days with New Edition, and on Cruel, he did even more rapping than before. But for all the tough-mindedness he exhibited on his new jack hits, the charismatic Bostonian hadn't lost his love of sentimental, old-fashioned R&B romanticism -- and he definitely excels in that area on his hits "Every Little Step," "Roni," and "Rock Wit'cha." Much of Cruel was produced by the ubiquitous production/songwriting duo L.A. Reid and Babyface, who've often been accused (and rightly so) of taking a formulaic, cookie-cutter approach to R&B. But here, their work is never less than inspired. ~ Alex Henderson

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Cruel Prelude - 1:39
  2. 2. Don't Be Cruel - 7:52
  3. 3. My Prerogative - 5:57
  4. 4. Roni - 6:58
  5. 5. Rock Wit'cha - 5:47
  6. 6. Every Little Step - 4:59
  7. 7. I'll Be Good to You - 4:25
  8. 8. Take It Slow - 5:22
  9. 9. All Day All Night - 5:40
  10. 10. I Really Love You Girl - 5:11
  11. 11. Cruel Reprise - 0:18

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