Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Force M.D.'s

  • Love Letters [Tommy Boy, 1984] B
  • Chillin' [Tommy Boy, 1986] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Love Letters [Tommy Boy, 1984]
If only there was a little something to the songwriting, the cute idea of anchoring a falsetto group to a rap rhythm section might have produced more than an exceedingly cute album. Certainly the fivesome sing sweet and rap sharp, and the LeBlanc-Wimbish-McDonald bottom is almost lithe enough for a top, even on the reggae. But not quite. B

Chillin' [Tommy Boy, 1986]
What scattered grow-ups seem to like about these teen goody-goodies is the touch of authenticity the sweet burr on the edge of T.C.D.'s tenor injects into the New Edition formula--a promise of, what else, soul. But the more I listen the more irrelevant that seems--when you crave a little authenticity, you don't go to a cute factory for it. What they need is more stringent quality controls than they're likely to get from chief producer Robin Halpin--not to mention the bozos who captain the ill-conceived Fat Boys excursion, or even "Tender Love"'s Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who've never made balladry their long suit. I know, the kids'll buy it anyway. But it won't keep any of them in school, I guarantee you. C+