This is one of those recommendations where in a way I had reviewed the album in my mind before I actually had the album. After vibing to the first single #Trendin a few weeks ago someone on the GFM team hipped me to the snippets of Condensate that had made their way to Amazon. I distinctly remember having two thoughts upon hearing the teaser: 1. This project is great for music and 2. Notice has been served: Musicians are at work here.

My thought behind why Condensate is great for music is that when you listen to the project that’s truly what you find contained within all the tracks music. What do I mean? Well you know how sometimes you can go to a restaurant(fast food) and there might be hamburgers or chicken listed on the menu and after you dine upon said food you question if that’s truly what you had. But then you can go down the street to the local restauranteur(whose employees you have seen standing in line behind you from time to time getting supplies at the store that sells high quality food items) and get the real deal that satisfies and is good for you. The notice that is served is that there really are musicians out there who still respect music and their fans enough to give them good stuff that’s good for them.

As I listened to Condensate I had to keep reminding myself who I was actually listening to and then my inner-voice would kick in and say “This is what songwriting/production/arranging/entertainment sounds like.” Ultimately when you combine all those elements together you are ultimately trying reach that level where you are just simply entertained. Condensate is definitely entertaining: I cannot tell you the last time that I’ve laughed and smiled this much listening to an album of music. I mean between the interplay of Morris Day and Jerome Benton, the skits, the wordplay of the song lyrics… the album feels like you were given an opportunity to literally just hang with the 7ven listen to some stories, music, jokes and just have a great time.

Musically Condensate is everything you would expect from The Band Formerly Known As The Time. I don’t mean in a predictable way or a recycled way. This is all new music with a 2011 sensibility but with all the fire and playing that used to be the standard in music. We know the folks who continue to uphold that standard for music and 7ven of them happen to be in the same band and decided to make a great new recording for lover’s of music. Did I just say band? Yesss!!!

The energy is apparent when Monte Moir, Jellybean Johnson, Jesse Johnson, Jerome Benton, Terry Lewis, Jimmy Jam and Morris Day come together. You can hear the individuality but the sum of the parts… from Jesse Johnson’s incredible guitar work on cuts like “Sick” and “AYDKMN”, Jellybean’s drum work throughout and the personal fave “If I Was Your Man”, the aforementioned banter between Morris and Jerome plus Morris’ lead vocal/quaterbacking duties calling for solos and hits in a nod to the GFOS, the keyboard work on Monte and Jimmy Jam (a lot of those sounds you won’t find in a box), the bass work of Terry Lewis that locks the grooves in air tight.

Condensate is an album, not that you didn’t know that but the emphasis is on album something you can play from start to finish without skipping tracks. The recording will grab you from the outset: The opening skit into “Strawberry Lake” will have you ready to gas up the car put the disc in the player and hit the highway just to listen while you drive. It’s just that much energy emanating from the speakers that it implores you to want to experience the project uninterrupted in its entirety and sometimes you can only achieve that on a drive. My recommendation here is to pick up a bottle of the 30 year vintage in the form of Condensate out Tuesday October 18th.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.