After the lackluster results of his debut solo album, KING OF STAGE, many would have thought that leaving New Edition was a huge mistake for Bobby Brown. But in 1988 he proved them all wrong with the release of his second album, DON’T BE CRUEL. This time enlisting the help of L. A. Reid and Babyface, who produced the majority of this 9-song album, Bobby showcased a sound that was much more mature than anything his former bandmates had done up to that point. This album produced 5 hit singles, the lead DON’T BE CRUEL, the hard-rockin’ MY PRERAGOTIVE (which remains his signature song to this day), the catchy dance track, EVERY LITTLE STEP, and the two sensual ballads, RONI and ROCK WITCHA.
Of the remaining album tracks, I’LL BE GOOD TO YOU sounds like a cross between Don’t Be Cruel and My Prerogative, and is good enough to have been a single itself. TAKE IT SLOW is another fine ballad, and the last two songs ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT, and I REALLY LOVE YOU GIRL are a couple of slow love songs, sure to melt the heart of teenage girls everywhere. Bobby had finally grown up and come into his own here, and proved he had what it takes to be a superstar.