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Don't Be Cruel

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Bobby Brown 10/17/1990

Review

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
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Cruel Prelude Bobby Brown 0:34
  3. 2 Don't Be Cruel Bobby Brown 6:44
  4. 3 My Prerogative Bobby Brown 4:47
  5. 4 Roni Bobby Brown 5:53
  6. 5 Rock Wit'cha Bobby Brown 4:43
  7. 6 Every Little Step Bobby Brown 3:54
  8. 7 I'll Be Good to You Bobby Brown 4:21
  9. 8 Take It Slow Bobby Brown 5:17
  10. 9 All Day All Night Bobby Brown 4:34
  11. 10 I Really Love You Girl Bobby Brown 5:6
  12. 11 Cruel Reprise Bobby Brown 0:15

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