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Mark Morrison's Innocent Man Album Preview

Jun 5th, 2008

Mark Morrison - Innocent Man album
 
Well it looks like one way or another we’re going to finally see the release of Mark Morrison’s Innocent Man album!

I’ve been a fan of The Mack since “Return of the Mack” in 1996, and have followed his up’s and many down’s since.

Here’s my own personal review of the album. Since I’ve been a fan of Mark’s for so long, you’ll find that I’m a pretty critical... but feel free to contact me if you want to share your opinions with me.

Innocent Man album (MackLife Records)

Innocent Man album
(MackLife Records)

Just A Man / Backstabbers (Single) 2Wikid Records

Just A Man / Backstabbers (Single)
2Wikid Records

Innocent Man album (2Wikid Records)

Innocent Man album
(2Wikid Records)

Innocent Man (CD Single) Mona Records

Innocent Man (CD Single)
Mona Records

Innocent Man (DVD Single) Mona Records

Innocent Man (DVD Single)
Mona Records

Innocent Man (Album) Mona Records

Innocent Man (Album)
Mona Records

 
Tracklisting


1. Daddy Mack (Intro)
2. Innocent Man
3. Blackstabbers
4. Lately
5. Friday
6. Nigga Ain't No Good
7. Best Friend
8. Just A Man
9. Time To Creep
10. Love You Bad
11. That's Life
12. Damn Damn Damn
13. Wanna Be Your Man
14. Journeys
15. Daddy Mack (Outro)
16. Just A Man (Bonus Track)
 
My Personal Review

My first impression after first listening to Innocent Man was that it should have been titled “Mark Morrison: Featuring...” because almost every track features someone, in many cases more of the background vocalists then Mark. This was disappointing. Some tracks don’t even sound like Mark is singing on them.

After listening to the Innocent Man album the next thing that came to mind is that it’s obvious that Mark wasn’t trying to duplicate the success he had with “Return of the Mack”. I think the magic he had with the first album is long gone. Practically every track on 1996’s “Return of the Mack” was a hit. Even the tracks that weren’t released as singles were hits. I can’t really say the same thing about the Innocent Man album.

I hope his camp is reading this if he plans on making a comeback, because there are only 4 tracks on this disc which standout... hopefully they release the tracks I noted as singles, otherwise Mack Daddy doesn’t stand a chance on the radio.

Tracks on the Innocent Man album refer to the Millennium which tell me now that they were recorded sometime between 1998-99 to be on the Mackellenium CD which never materialized. (Was Mark in jail again?)

... and the clash between Mark and 2Wikid / Kevin Campbell, here’s what I think happened. I think Kevin wanted to start a label and was looking for an artist who had material all ready to go quickly that, for a price could be purchased directly from or licensed to his new label by the artist. Mark clearly fits this mold and the fact he is able to now release this album on his own terms, with minor changes to the tracklisting backs up my theory.

As far as I can tell, the only 2 tracks that 2Wikid was involved with were the Daz Dillinger Mix of “Backstabbers” and the title track of the “Just A Man” single, “Just A Man” ... I’ll go into details about the “Just A Man” tracks below. The Daz Dillinger Mix of “Backstabbers” is a fuckin HOT track and it’s NOT on the Innocent Man album. Instead an horrible remix (called the Punjabi MC Mix) is featured on the album... and to be honest– it SUCKS!

Even more worrisome, is that a 3-track promo of Blackstabbers exists and 2 of the tracks are censored and uncensored versions of the Punjabi MC Mix... which tells me this is the version Mark is releasing to radio... and this makes me think 2Wikid owns the rights to the really cool version. Otherwise why else wouldn’t he be using the Daz Dillinger Mix? It was released as a B-side on the Just A Man single by 2Wikid.

Personally, if he can’t release the Daz Dillinger Mix of Backstabbers I think he should give up on that track completely... I mean he’s been trying to do something with that one since 1997’s “The Judgement” CD.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Innocent Man album isn’t bad... and after all of the time we’ve had to wait this album is better than nothing, but two tracks I’m dying to hear “I Told You So” and “Playa Hata”, which were featured on the Innocent Man album preview produced by Death Row when Mark was signed to them are nowhere to be seen on Innocent Man... and BOTH of those tracks (from what I heard on the preview CD) sounded like incredible hits for Mark. I imagine Death Row Records owns them, which is why we will probably never hear them.

Below you will find my opinions on each of the songs.

1. Daddy Mack (Intro)

“Daddy... Daddy, oh Daddy Mack when are you comin’ back?” It’s a neat little chant and a great way to start.
 
2. Innocent Man (Feat: DMX)

This track stands out... great beat, and Mark gets his point across about being an Innocent Man without being too “in your face” about it... the lyrics are very well thought out.

I would recommend this track as a single but #13 and #12 would be my first picks.
 
3. Blackstabbers (Punjabi MC Mix)

I REALLLLLLY DISLIKE this remix. Whoever remixed this version should be shot. Replace with Daz Dillinger Mix. The Daz Dillinger Mix would chart really well in the United States.
 
4. Lately (Feat: Elephant Man)

This song isn’t bad... it’s kinda catchy, not really single material though. Mark was definitely going in the right direction with this track. I could do without the rap.
 
5. Friday

I really really like this song... at first I thought the “Thank God It’s Friday” hook was annoying but Mark’s infectious trademark whine is too irresistible on this track... one of my 4 favorites.

6. Nigga Ain't No Good

I like this song too. I knew it would be a good song just from the 30 seconds preview on the Innocent Man album preview from Death Row Records.

The song has a great message and was brilliantly crafted. I don’t think it would work well on radio... but it’s a great song.
 
7. Best Friend (2B3 R&B MIX) featuring Gabrielle and Connor Reeves

Mark’s recycling his old material. This version is a remix from the Best Friend CD single from 1999.
 
8. Just A Man

This is the single version featured on the “Just A Man / Backstabbers” single produced by 2Wikid, pictured above. This version features Mark on all lead vocals.
 
9. Time To Creep (Feat: Isyss)

This song is a great slow song, but it really doesn’t sound like Mark very much. I like the first 60 seconds and then I think the song tumbles downhill from there.
 
10. Love You Bad

I don’t know what Mark was thinking when he recorded this one; it’s not the best... it’s not the worst.
 
11. That's Life

Again... I don’t know what Mark was smokin’ when he record this one. What happened to Return of the Mack? Thats what people want... not this...!!!!
 
12. Damn Damn Damn (Feat: Adina Howard)

AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! This song would make a great single... it’s not too fast, not too slow... the lyrics are awesome! This song is PERFECT and I love listening to it! One of my 4 favs on this CD!
 
13. Wanna Be Your Man

This is my FAVORITE song on the CD next to #12 and this song MUST be released as a single! It’s PERFECT! It would do well in the UK and the US... the lyrics are great... the beat, the instruments... it’s all PERFECT. This was one of the tracks on the Innocent Man album preview from Death Row Records and the moment I heard it I knew would be an instant hit. Now, release it as a single and prove me right!!! The remixes could be awesome for this song... I can already hear them now.

14. Journeys (Feat: Mica Paris)

I don’t know what Mark was thinking when he recorded this one... it’s not the best... it could have been left off completely and it wouldn’t have bothered me one bit.
 
15. Daddy Mack (Outro)

“Daddy... Daddy, oh Daddy Mack thank you for comin’ back?” A neat chant and a great way to end the CD.
 
16. Just A Man (Bonus Track) featuring Alexander O’Neal

Well my thoughts on this track: This version is probably the way Mark had originally recorded it, then when he signed to 2Wikid, in an effort to clean up his image and start releasing records on their label, I imagine they made Mark re-record the song so he was lead-vocals throughout the entire song. Honestly I don’t like this version and it makes no sense to me why Mark would only sing part of it. I think 2Wikid made a good choice having Mark re-record vocals on this track.
 
Well there you have it... all 16 tracks, and my perspective on the album and each of the tracks.

Visit Mark’s official web site: www.markmorrison.com

 

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