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on October 19, 2011
What an incredibly satisfying album The Original 7ven have come together to deliver. I have the Morris, Monte, Jesse solo albums and the Janet classics, and all the Prince and MPLS Sound related albums, and this record really ranks amongst the best of the genre by way of a) the catchiest, hook-driven songwriting b) modern recording production that will stay fresh and classic and date-free and c)most importantly, consistent quality and enjoyment for the length of the disc. All killer, no filler. Every track has memorable, unique charm and you won't want to skip past any of them. And to retain the familiar vibe of the early 80's MPLS sound, if you pay close attention, you recognize classic vintage instruments and sounds, blended in naturally and seemlessly with the great sounding modern production. Like the recent Devo and The Cars reunion albums, the light peppering of the classic synths and drum machines INSTANTLY bring back the flood of great memories of the band's original run: the Linn drum like Let's Go Crazy, the clean funky guitar from After Hi-School, the keys from the Vanity album, their tasteful inclusion here is wonderful. You know how scents trigger memories instantly, so do unique musical instruments tones, and to have new music with some of the old tones is a real treat.

What I love about the MPLS sound is COMPLETELY represented here. I love the funk, the soul, the new wave, and the rock that the early 80's MPLS sound blended across all the artists Prince was involved with. Not since Sign O The Times have all of these genres been incorporated so well in one album until now. The playfulness of Ice Cream Castle and Escapade, the sincere soulful longing for love ala Girl, the tongue in cheek bravado and materialism like Wild and Loose, and on a whole, a real sense of living, of being happy, of having fun however it is you wanna have fun, are all here. The diversity of the early Prince albums attracted me, and the Original 7ven album is in the same vein. It's more diverse than any Time record. And above all, it's really refreshing to have a new, fun, mature album out today, free of negativity of the economy and politics that plague our daily lives and the news media. It's nice to think that in 2011 even Morris Day is still being a playboy.

The album is real tight (no drawn out jams), inter-song skits are minimal (only two brief interludes), yet the character of Morris is well represented and multi-dimensional (how powerful is the shot of him in Purple Rain alone in the club hallway after making fun of The Kid's dad's suicide attempt?). I love how every band member is name checked constantly and you feel like the whole band is fully involved and loving what's going on. The production is excellent, I can pinpoint all of the instruments without a flood of keys or autotune taking away from or overpowering the true musicianship of this band. And as a musician, the tones and engineering are such a pleasure to hear, and Jesse's guitar tone sounds ridiculously good. It's actually hard for me to go back and enjoy the older albums now like I used to because the old vocal recordings are thin and the reverb effects are so heavy and dated.

I hope everyone who's ever enjoyed MPLS music grabs this entire album, here's a breakdown:
1. Strawberry Lake- Over the top fun and bounce, you'll flop like a Muppet for this. Instant classic.
2. Condensate- Funky, funky, funky. Call and response from the band, like back in the day. COOL premise, too!
3. #Trendin- Instant hit and hook, cute modern use of tech terms to be current.
4. If I Was Yo Man- I used to think the drums of 777-9311 was unbeatable, until this monster came out. STANDOUT TRACK!!! Gorgeous song and gorgeous guitar solo.
5. Role Play- groovy and slinky, sexy and sexist. Morris is the pimp.
6. Sick- Hard rock and guitar heavy, Jesse has turned this disc into a better rock album than straight-ahead rock bands could do. Great chorus, nice bit of profane lyrics that Prince won't use anymore.
7. Lifestyle- Sweet and slow, but this won't stop Morris' ego. A soul jam that doesn't drag down the energy from the rest of the album and gives a nice breather to the listen of the full album.
8. Faithful- Great transition from Lifestyle, fun and playful and hilarious, this is why there's no skits needed to convey humor, it's a natural part of the music, and never detracts from it.
9. Cadillac- In your face sexy funk, you have to crank this in a car to appreciate. STANDOUT TRACK!!!
10. AYDKMN- Nasty guitar funk and blues. The BPM is 1 beat short of comfortable, so this tension will grab you and rock you out. Props for the use of "persnickety".
11. One Step- Party rock time, great band interaction and call and response, killer Jesse guitar work again. This will get audience butts shaking live someday. And then when you're all happy and not expecting the band to take it to the top gear, outta nowhere comes...
12. Toast To The Party Girl- Holy F... I gotta repeat it, HOLY F...!!!!! This is the best hot damn song of the YEAR. Of MANY YEARS!!! Clean Jesse guitars, classic synth sounds, heavy kick drum, group and female backing vocals, it's the ultimate party rock band song and sensory overload. The song just gives me chills everytime I hear it, from the instrumentation that just builds and builds with every verse, right up to the bridge. Then the guitar solo hits, fast and furious, appropriate and tasteful, and just when you think the fast part of the solo would climax and go to the long string bends and peter out, the solo just goes and goes. It's like the killer extended guitar work from Jesse and Prince circa Purple Rain that I can't get enough of. Prince and Jesse just don't get the appreciation they get for their guitar skills, but especially Jesse. Grunge music may have killed guitar heros from being noticed, but Jesse needs to be seen and heard more. Then the song hits the dance groove at the end like Baby I'm A Star, and it's the party of the century for the rest of the song. I won't spoil the end (chili sauce), but it's completely satisfying. This needs to be their live set closer. STANDOUT TRACK OF THE ENTIRE BAND'S CAREER. For the mega-talent these guys have in writing, performing and producing, this track represents the whole as greater than the sum of their parts.
13. Hey Yo- Sexy soul and groove, happy and romantic. A celebration of life and love.
14. Go Home To Yo Man- Smooth, 1999-album era style sexyness with some light hearted comedy in there. Great comedown from a killer album to tuck you in for the night.

I love this album to death, my favorite from the whole year, and I can't recommend it enough. Anyone who's ever enjoyed The Time or Prince-related material will have a ball. These seven talented gents create a magic only they can, I hope the music world hears this album and appreciates it, and the O7 continue making such great music in the future.
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on October 19, 2011
The Original 7ven's "Condensate" exceeded my expectations, by far. The songs are tight, musical performances powerful, and production crisp. Probably the most focused, tightly-produced TIME CD ever. All 14 songs (there are 2 segues) are well-developed and span the full range - from trendy (#Trendin'), poppish (One Step, Hey Yo), funky (Condensate) to rock (Sick). The CD shows that the fellas can promote the TIME sound without their old mentor.

Some of the highlights (for me):
Strawberry Lake - Has a Sly Stone vibe to it.
Condensate - Probably the nastiest funk song the TIME has ever done.
Sick - Jesse tears this one up. My fave, for now.
#Trendin' - Catchy, and will likely draw a new generation of fans in.

Folks will always be hyper-critical about anything the TIME releases (particularly without help), but this CD stands up to any of their other CD's -- comparing favorably to Pandemonium.

This is a GREAT CD !!
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on November 29, 2011
Let's face it, if you record new material after a 20 year layoff, it doesn't always work. Some bands get back together, write a weak album for an instant paycheck, and tarnish their legacy. I am ashamed to admit that I thought this was going to be embarrasing. THE TIME writing a new record is even more tricky because - and many people don't know this - their first two records "THE TIME" and "WHAT TIME IS IT?" are written, arranged and performed, all instruments, by Prince (with Morris on vocals). I am pleased to announce that I was dead wrong - THE TIME have written some of their best songs since 1984!

"IF I WAS YOUR MAN" is classic Time. It's, to me, their best song since "My Drawers" (my favorite off Ice Cream Castle). "LIFESTYLE", the lead single "TRENDIN'", "FAITHFUL" and "SICK" all fit nicely amongst their best-ever songs. The guitar work on "SICK" is... well.. sick! JESSE JOHNSON was always my favorite part of the band, and he is in top, top form here. Such a brilliant guitarist. I saw THE TIME live in Las Vegas a few years ago at the Fabulous Flamingo and he left the stage smokin'. He looks better now than he did 25 years ago when he rocked the pink pleather gear for JESSE JOHNSON's REVUE. (if you're reading this Jesse, the REVUE album should be remastered and re-issued with both versions of "FREE WORLD" tacked on).

Thinking about it, I shouldn't have been surprised that this album is so well-written. Some of the finest songwriters are part of the original line-up. MONTE MOIR, JIMMY JAM and TERRY LEWIS. Throw in Jesse Johnson and Morris's classic lyrics and vocal delivery, you have one surprising gem of an album. I could do without the fake interviews and excerpts between songs, but apart from those, this album showcases the highest artistic quality of any Time album.

If you love THE TIME, you should pick this one up immediately and try to catch them live if they come to your town.
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on November 4, 2011
WARNING: IF YOU ARE NOT A FAN OF THE TIME OR THEIR MUSIC, OR IF YOU'VE NEVER HEARD THEIR MUSIC, YOU WILL PROBABLY FIND THIS RECORDING TO BE WEIRD, DATED, OR YOU JUST DIDN'T LIKE IT.

Now, for the rest who are fans of THE TIME, then you will appreciate it totally, because, for the most part, it is dated, but the catch here is that these guys put is down like nobody's business and it is a part of the landscape of R&B that's missing in the structure of what's being called "music" today. For me, I own past cd's by this group, and to be truthful, nothing has changed but their name. In some circles, that would make them stale and old. In my circle, this move makes them fresh and missed by those who have a love for the R&B/Rock-ish flava that they produced so well. It's a very jam-filled disc and I totally dig where they are coming and where they are going.
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on October 22, 2011
What can be said about this group of individuals latest effort???? As ICONIC as they are, you'd think they'd sit back and rest on their laurels. As i reach for superlatives to describe what I'm listening to for the UPTEENTH time, they all come up short. It's as if they never stopped performing together. I'm a HUGE fan of the first iteration of this group, I've owned EVERY single ablum...yes, I said ALBUM...but...this new offering is THE tightest group of lyrics, beats and humor than ANY of their old stuff and is head over heels more funky than ANYTHING young cats are putting out today. There are SOME groups putting out some good music....ala The Roots, but this is one of the tightest, funkiest, creative cats around. I have MAD respect for Prince and what he's done and DOING!! He's a pure genius...but...The O7 are a group of muscial giants destined to bring the funky heat!
If you want a funky, sexy, cool time that will definitately make you CONDENSATE, then buy this album, CD, mp3 or whatever...just get it and sit back (if you can) and let the O7 do what they do...
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on February 23, 2012
You seen the title and I mean it. The Original 7ven hit a jackpot. To me it's the best Time album period. Most Time fans know that each musician in this band are serious in their own right. This album show cases that they are on top. I was worried that when I heard that they were going to record a new album since 1990 (Pandemonium) I thought it was going to be mediocre. Condensate surprised me in many ways. The first reason I believe this is the best Time album is because of the compositions. Each song is written well including their first release "Trending." The lyrics are clever and they still maintain their coolness or "condensating" ways. Another point is that Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced this record very nicely. It has a modern Minneapolis sound to it with all the new keyboard sounds. With all the new technology it maintains a live feel to it and it's still very much a musician album. Morris Day never has been much of a singer to me, but this album makes him voice shine. You can hear all of his wisecracks clearly. One of the nice things in the musician department is Jesse Johnson's guitar playing. It's unfortunate that he is no longer in the group for whatever reason, but he kept the funk alive on all these tracks. Also we have to remember that Prince played most of the instruments in the first two Time albums. The absence of Prince's influence is another reason what makes this album the best Time album. We are hearing the seven original members in their mature musical form and they delivered a product worth buying. This album maintains their "Time" originality, but it is progressive with new heavy laden funk, and some retro new wave flavor. The minute I heard the first track "Strawberry Lake" I just had a feeling that it was going to be good album. I tell will you what time it is. It's time for you to buy Condensate.
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on October 27, 2011
Sure the whole 'I am cool' routine is a bit old, but it's who Morris Day is.

This is the best album by this group in a very long time. It's better than Pandemonium by a long shot.

Something that doesn't get the press that it needs is how talented these musicians are. Jellybean has two CDs out (one with fDeluxe) this month. Jesse Johnson is still riding off of Verbal Penetration (which was fantastic), you know about Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. There's a reason that Monte Moir was on some many Prince produced albums back in the day.

Buy this CD if you are a fan of their music, it's distinct and 'them'. If you aren't a fan of the The Time I'm afraid this one turn you on.
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on September 3, 2013
I bought the Deluxe Edition CD + DVD when it was released. While watching the dvd, I just felt myself smiling. I always loved these guys' energy and chemistry.

Forget comparing this to their past and the stories regarding the name change, these guys rock. It's "Sick"! Hope there's another.
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on January 17, 2015
Tonight while searching for a Morris Day and The Time video to play in the club I work at I tripped over this and decided to investigate. I had NO idea this album had ever been released and wish I had been aware at the time to help boost it. #Trendin immediately grabbed me and took me back to THE DAY. I am SO mad at myself for missing this release when it was hot off the press, but I'll be bumpin' this on the regular from here on out. Anyone who knows me is aware that I LOVE funk and how I get super jazzed when it peeks its head back onto the mainstream scene, Ronson's Uptown Funk being the latest vehicle. Dance club crowds love funk, it gets them dancing, and after only one play tonight I've already watched this get people moving.

The album as a whole is a LOT of fun. There are a few skits interweaved that really dress it up and keep it from being just a collection of different tracks. The music itself is soulful and playfully entertaining, and overall it feels exactly like something a fan of The Time would hope to expect. If you are a lover of delicious music do yourself a flavor and try a few of the free samples in order to taste it for yourself. Odds are you'll dig it.
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on February 28, 2014
I couldn't help but be interested when I saw about this CD. The orginial Time reunited! They are a great reminder of a time not that long ago when there were a number of talented and creative bands. This band of course had a very distinctive identity, an identity that was centered around the lead vocalist (and character), Morris Day. Condensate is a very solid 21st century update of the Time sound with good, catchy tunes that are true to the sound they have established in history. My favorites are Condensate, #Trendin', Lifestyle, Cadillac, and GoHomeToYoMan. Hope this is not the last we see of this great band!!
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