Mystery Man is Jimmie Warren who scored a chittlin' circuit hit his first time out with "Bedroom Workout".
"Bedroom Workout" (Wilson 2004)
1. Bedroom Workout
** The electro-funk programmed title cut became a surprise dancefloor smash in the chitlin' circuit though the rest of the album sounds the same.
"Part 2" (Delta Ent 2004)
1. Funk It Up
** The Mystery Man's voice is an acquired taste and these by-the-numbers programmed tracks are mostly dreadful. Now he did have an infectious little hit with "Bedroom Workout" the last go 'round and the song appears again here. It's easily the best thing on "Part 2". The rest of the "songs" feature a lot of "pump it up", sex-u-up because there's a "party" going on pandering but the only party going on is in the mind of the Mystery Man. Weak "dance" songs like "Hit The Right Spot" & "Body Rock" are only slightly better than the excruciating slow jams "My Cheating Days Is Over" and "Take It To The Bank". With a record like this it's no "mystery" why he doesn't use his real name.
"Hit The Right Spot" (Hitmakers USA 2006)
1. That's the Kind of Love
** Although his singing voice remains an acquired taste, "Hit The Right Spot" is a significant improvement over his previous platter, "Part 2". While that work was bereft of catchy tracks this set has a slew of those irresistible (or irritating depending on your taste) programmed dancers popular in Southern clubs. From the grinding bassline and slappin' drums of "That's The Kind Of Love" we're off to a good start but his wobbly warbling on the slowie "If I Had One Wish" that follows had me worried. The cat fares better on the uptempo jams but later he sells "My Cheating Days Are Over" quite well. Nice female backups on this one too, taking the refrain onto higher ground. Whatever the case you'll be back on your feet for the kickin' "Annie's Night Club" (a remake of executive producer Charles Wilson's "Booty Club"). I wonder if the same Annie of "Annie Mae's Cafe" owns this club?
During the beginning of "Party House" and later on the title track it occurred to me that The Mystery Man sounds a little like an intoxicated Morris Day (of The Time). It does have it's charm."Body Rock" is another lowdown funkified dancer with an icy hot synth fill that could be the hit from this set. Shari Scott duets with Man for "Kick It With You". Bottom line: If you don't dig machines stay clear otherwise get your party on.
"What's Wrong With Our Love?" (Ecko 2008)
1. Woman, What's Wrong with Our
**1/2 Just when it seemed like Ecko Records was on the decline in terms of quality and relevance they've stormed back with strong releases on O.B. Buchana, Carl Sims, Denise LaSalle and Ms. Jody; each producing notable chitlin' circuit hits within the last 9 months. So it came as a surprise to me when The Mystery Man popped up on their release schedule. Sure, the no longer mysterious one had a huge hit some years back with "Bedroom Workout" but his obvious vocal inadequacies caught up with him with subsequent releases flopping. But this just goes to show what a hit song can do for an artist. You can always get another shot and that sums up "What's Wrong With Our Love?". The good news is being the material was recorded at Ecko studios so it has plenty of bottom and some punch. The first single, "Hole In The Wall Cafe", is an infectious percolating bumper that'll get a few bootys wigglin'. "Jody's Got My Tu Tu" is kinda catchy too but is nothing more than Charles Wilson's "Booty Club" and Mystery Man's own "Party House" with new lyrics.
The bad news is Mystery Man's (Jimmie Warren) singing can only be tolerated (at least by me) for a couple tracks. "Better Stop Doggin' Me Around" is a darn nifty bump and the title track is elevated by some sweet backup vocals by Shara Scott and/or Brenda Williams. This slowie as well as "I Wanna Make Love To You Tonight", "Learn To Respect Your Woman" and "If I Had You In My Arms Tonight" are dynamite songs that a better singer could really bring home. If you like Mystery Man before you'll be quite happy with this release. The rest of ya'll need steer clear.
"My Ship Is Coming In" (Ecko 2011)
1. Bump And Grind With Me