L.A. State of Mind

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L.A. State of Mind
LA-State-Of-Mind-Official.jpg
Studio album by Melanie Brown
Released 27 June 2005
Recorded 2004
Genre
Length 42:47
Label Amber Café
Producer
  • Laurie Jay (exec.)
  • Kevin Malpass
Melanie Brown chronology
Hot
(2000)
L.A. State of Mind
(2005)
Singles from L.A. State of Mind
  1. "Today"
    Released: 13 June 2005

L.A. State of Mind is the second studio album by English singer Melanie Brown, credited with her full name, Melanie Brown. The only single released from the album was "Today", for which Brown completed a two-week promotional tour in the United Kingdom. The single entered and peaked at number forty-one.[2]

Background and composition[edit]

"It's a bit piano, acoustic-guitar driven. It's not RnB whatsoever. I did it in my kitchen with my two friends from London – Kevin and Julie. I wanna test it first before I decide anything and see what the reaction is and see how I like performing it, because I’ve only been there in my kitchen with a microphone singing it.

— Brown about the album and unpretentious recording in her kitchen.[3]

After breaking up with the Virgin, in 2001, Brown was not interested working in music again.[4] During this time, Brown was dedicated to television and acting – starring the first session of drama series Burn It, presenting the TV show This Is My Moment and recording the films LD 50 Lethal Dose, The Seat Filler, Telling Lies and the documentary Voodoo Princess.[5][6] In 2004, she debuted on stage in the musical Rent as the role of Mimi Marquez, and this encouraged her return to music.[4] In August, Brown revealed that she was recording her second album, but did not sign with a label, because the album would be a non-commercial and unpretentious project.[3] Temporarily, she created her own label, Amber Café, just to release the album.[7]

She did not want R&B or hip hop sounds, but instead focused on deeper themes and rhythms such as in acoustic music.[3] Brown had announced that the Grammy-winner Darkchild produce some songs, but declined to give visibility to her friends, the independent producers Kevin Malpass and Laurie Jay.[8][9] Brown said L.A. State of Mind was a personal album with introspective themes and based on piano melodies and acoustic-guitar sounds.[3] She revealed that recorded the songs in her kitchen, using only the microphone and some equipment for a few sessions with friends.[10] She performed some songs at various showcases in United States before releasing the album to test the public reaction.[1]

Release[edit]

L.A. State of Mind was released on 27 June 2005 by Amber Café in United Kingdom.[11] It was released in two formats: as a regular CD and as a limited edition with a 30-minute DVD an in-depth documentary filmed and directed by Mark McConnell, detailing Brown's life in Los Angeles.[12] Brown had moved a few months ago to the United States and the documentary shows their intimate moments in the new country and her personal and professional questions.[12] Ten years later, on 11 December 2015, the album was released in United States and Japan only by Right Recordings with a limited physical edition.[13] On 8 January 2016, the standard edition of L.A. State of Mind was released in Canada by Universal Music.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

L.A. State of Mind was compared to introspective songs of Madonna and Sheryl Crow.[7]

L.A. State of Mind received generally negative reviews upon its release from music critics. Jon O'Brien of Allmusic gave it one and a half star and commented that the album was one of the worst of the decade, commenting that Brown sounds as if she was sore and it seems to recite a poem instead of singing.[1] About the production, he also said: "childlike melodies and dated production are entirely representative of the amateurish nature that encompasses the album".[1] Analyzing the songs, O'Brien commented that "Music of the Night" sounds like a failure and delayed attempt to sound like Ricky Martin, "Stay in Bed Days" was like someone singing Shania Twain at karaoke and "Bad, Bad Girl", described as the "worst of all", was "an ear-shatteringly bad stab at '80s electro that sounds like it was recorded on a children's Casio keyboard.[1]

Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian gave it three stars and commented the expectation for an independent and outside the mainstream album was low, but L.A. State of Mind "isn't the pile of scrappy indifference it should have been", praising Brown's breathy voice.[7] She was positive and chosen "Sweet Pleasure", compared the song with "Justify My Love", by Madonna, and the ballads of Sheryl Crow.[7] But was negative about "Stay in Bed Day", described as "the only rubbish track" and appealing by Brown put her daughters in backing vocals singing "Do I need therapy? Have I lost it in LA?".[7] Bárbara dos Anjos Lima of Abril said the album is shameful and disastrous.[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album did not reach the top 100 of the UK Albums Chart, but according to the Official Charts Company, it ranked 453 in sales in its first week with only 670 copies sold.[16][17] In its second week, the album dropped down to number 1581.[15][18] Overall, the album sold less than 1500 copies.[15]

Singles[edit]

"Today" was the only single from the album, released on 13 June 2005 only in United Kingdom.[19] It was released in two different formats, one featured "Bad, Bad Girl" as b-side and the second included the music clip and "Music of the Night (Perdido)" as b-side.[20][21] The song debuted and peaked at number fourth-one, selling around 1,000 copies in its first week.[2] The music video was directed by Mark McConnell and filmed in Los Angeles, California[22] Brown didn't intend to promote the single, performing only on GMTV, on 13 June 2005.[23] Some fan sites chose "L.A. State of Mind" and "Beautiful Girl" as the favourite songs of fans to become the next single, but Brown opted not to continue promotion of the album.[24]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of L.A. State of Mind.[8]

CD[25]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Today" Kevin Malpass Malpass 3:16
2. "Stay in Bed Days"
Malpass 4:05
3. "Beautiful Girl"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 3:47
4. "Music of the Night (Perdido)"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 3:48
5. "If I Had My Life Again"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 4:41
6. "In Too Deep"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 4:00
7. "Sweet Pleasure"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 3:40
8. "L.A. State of Mind"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 3:44
9. "Say Say Say"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 3:54
10. "Bad, Bad Girl"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 3:25
11. "Hold On"
  • Brown
  • Malpass
Malpass 3:51
DVD[26]
No. Title Length
12. "L.A. State of Mind: The Documentary" 28:17

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United Kingdom[11] 27 June 2005 Amber Café
United States[13] 11 December 2015 CD Right Recordings
Japan[27] CD+DVD
Canada[14] 8 January 2016 CD Universal Music

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "UK Singles Chart: Melanie Brown". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d "New Melanie B's Album In The Works". Pop Music. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Always Melanie B » Extended Biography". Always Melanie B. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Aisle Seat by Andy Dursin". Andy Films. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "LD50: Lethal Dose DVD". Amazon.com. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Melanie Brown, LA State of Mind (Amber Cafe)". The Guardian. 23 June 2005. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Back To Recording – Plus TV, Clothes Line and Kids – For Mel B./Dave Coulier & Co. Pressing Forward With Clean Comedy Acts by Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smith on Creators.com – A Syndicate of Talent". 
  10. ^ "Melanie B To Release New Songs On The Internet". Pop Music. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Melanie Brown - L.A. State Of Mind (UK)". iTunes. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Melanie B L.A State Of Mind UK CD/DVD SET (325735)". Eil.com. 2005-05-18. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  13. ^ a b "Melanie B - L.A. State Of Mind (US)". Amazon. 2005-05-18. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  14. ^ a b "L.A. State Of Mind Limited Edition". Amazon. 2005-05-18. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  15. ^ a b c "Melanie Brown é a Spice com carreira solo mais fracassada". Abril. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "WHY ARE THE SPICES REALLY REALLY BACK?". Mirror. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Solo Spice: What happened next?". Digital Spy. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "Radio Hi-Tec - Artist info". Radio Hi-Tec. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Melanie Brown ?– Today". Discogs. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Today [CD #1]". Allmusic. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "Today [CD #2]". Allmusic. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "Mark McConnell - Director / Editor / Producer / Camera". YouTube. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "Melanie B - "Today" live at GMTV". Peggo. 28 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Qual música deveria ser o próximo single do L.A. State of Mind?". Melanie Brown. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  25. ^ "Melanie B ?– L.A. State of Mind". iTunes. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  26. ^ "L.A. State Of Mind ?(CD, Album + DVD-V + Ltd)". Amazon. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  27. ^ "L.A. State of Mind (Bonus Dvd) Limited Edition". Amazon. 2005-05-18. Retrieved 2012-02-27.