Society of Soul, Brainchild

Hua Hsu

By Hua Hsu

on 08.23.12 in Reviews


Society Of Soul

While it remains an overlooked moment of the Dungeon oeuvre, Society of Soul’s sole release captures much of what made it such an exciting movement. Released a few months after writing and producing TLC’s hit “Waterfalls,” Organized Noize collaborated with Dungeon guru Big Rube and singer Espraronza “Roni” Griffin” to make Brainchild. From the opening drag of “E.M.B.R.A.C.E.” and the “Waterfalls”-isms of “Changes” (featuring T-Boz) to the psychedelic soul of “Peaches n’ Erb” and dubby funk of Cee-Lo and George Clinton’s “Blac Mermaid,” it’s an album that captures the Dungeon Family at their diverse best: tight, thoughtful songwriting; moments of adventure and play; a sense of collective struggle. Perhaps that lack of a single, distinct personality is why Brainchild — driven by Sleepy Brown’s charming falsetto, but far from an autobiographical record — is rarely recognized as one of the best R&B (or, if you prefer, “neosoul”) records of the ’90s — because it certainly deserves to be.