Return of the Mack Import
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Since he released his first indie single in 1994, Morrison has put three songs in the British Top 10 "Crazy," "Return of the Mack," and "Horny." All three singles are included on Morrison's U.S. debut, Return of the Mack. Far more compelling than the revenge-fantasy of the lyrics is the sound of Morrison's nasal, booming voice over a groove that seems to slam a thousand handclaps and drums into each beat. The man behind the sonic boom is coproducer Phil Chill, who once did the same for Neneh Cherry. A lot of artists switch back and forth between singing and rapping, but Morrison is one of the few who can do both at once in a conversational sing- song that combines melody and rhythmic exclamation points. --Geoffrey Himes
Like most people, I was sucked in by "Return of the Mac," a really cool song with a really cool beat and tune. I also enjoyed Mark Morrison's unique voice. So I hoped that I would find a treasure trove of equally unique, fun, and energetic songs.
The unfortunate reality is that "Return of the Mac" is the only truly fun song here. Most of these tunes are monotonous and somewhat annoying. If anything, it reveals that "Return of the Mac" was simply the best iteration out of a group of extremely similar songs. What makes them so "blah" differs from song to song. Some recycle the same beat over and over, and others use uninspired, boring tunes ("Get High with Me"). Now, I will concede that they're good for background music; I love listening to this only if I'm working and not concentrating solely on the music. If mixed with other pop tunes from the 90s, and broken up from the other songs on the CD, Morrison's album fits right in and makes a really cool contribution. Unfortunately, if one stops to listen to them for any extended period of time, boredom begins setting in; the elements are simply too plain, or repeated too often. And this admission is from someone who enjoys repetition in her songs!
I do enjoy "Crazy," "Let's Get Down," and "I Like." But unlike "Return of the Mac," these aren't as much fun to listen to individually. They're better to use in mixes as bridges to more exciting songs. Even more unfortunate, I came to the heretical realization that the radio edit of "Return" actually improves it to some degree. This extended version is (gasp) too long! The snappy way the radio edit begins the tune really jump-starts the excitement and fun. Plus, it ends at the perfect moment, instead of dragging on for a while; the original length makes the song sound like it's fizzling out.
Perhaps it's worth it just to buy the radio edit of "Return of the Mac" and pretend that the other songs on this CD don't exist.