L.A. State of Mind is Melanie Brown's second album that was credited with her full name instead of the name "Mel B."
The album was released on June 27, 2005 on her own record label, Amber Café.
After leaving Virgin Records, Melanie was not interested working in music again. During this time, she was dedicated to television and acting, starring the first session of drama series "Burn It", presenting the TV show "This Is My Moment" & recording the films "LD 50 Lethal Dose", "The Seat Filler", "Telling Lies" & the documentary "Voodoo Princess."
In 2004, Melanie debuted on stage in the musical "Rent" as the role of Mimi Marquez which encouraged her return to music.
In August of 2004, she revealed that she was recording her second album, but did not sign with a label because the album would be a non-commercial and unpretentious project. Temporarily, she created her own label, Amber Café just to release the album.
Melanie did not want R&B or hip hop sounds, but instead focused on deeper themes and rhythms such as in acoustic music. She had announced that the Grammy-winner Darkchild produce some songs, but declined to give visibility to her friends, the independent producers Kevin Malpass and Laurie Jay.
Melanie said that "L.A. State of Mind" was a personal album with introspective themes and based on piano melodies and acoustic-guitar sounds. She revealed that recorded the songs in her kitchen, using only the microphone and some equipment for a few sessions with friends.
Melanie performed some songs at various showcases in United States before releasing the album to test the public reaction.
- Stay in Bed Days
- Beautiful Girl
- Music of the Night (Perdido)
- If I Had My Life Again
- In Too Deep
- Sweet Pleasure
- L.A. State of Mind
- Say Say Say
- Bad, Bad Girl
- Hold On
"L.A. State of Mind" was released in two formats: as a regular CD and as a limited edition with a 30-minute DVD an in-depth documentary filmed and directed by Mark McConnell, detailing Melanie's life in Los Angeles, California.
Melanie had moved a few months ago to the United States and the documentary shows their intimate moments in the new country and her personal and professional questions.
Ten years later on December 11, 2015, the album was released in United States and Japan only by Right Recordings with a limited physical edition.
On January 8, 2016, the album was released in Canada by Universal Music only as a regular CD.
"L.A. State of Mind" did not reach the top 100 of the UK Albums Chart, but according to the Official Charts Company, it ranked 453 in sales in its first week with only 670 copies sold. In its second week, the album down to number 1581.
Overall, the album sold less than 1500 copies.
"L.A. State of Mind" received generally negative reviews upon its release from music critics. Jon O'Brien of Allmusic gave it one and a half star and commented that the album was one of the worst of the decade, commenting that Brown sounds as if she was sore and it seems to recite a poem instead of singing.
Commenting about the production, he also said: "childlike melodies and dated production are entirely representative of the amateurish nature that encompasses the album".
While analyzing the songs, O'Brien commented that "Music of the Night" sounds like a failure and delayed attempt to sound like Ricky Martin, "Stay in Bed Days" was like someone singing Shania Twain at karaoke and "Bad, Bad Girl", described as the "worst of all", was "an ear-shatteringly bad stab at '80s electro that sounds like it was recorded on a children's Casio keyboard."
Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian gave it three stars and commented the expectation for an independent and outside the mainstream album was low, but L.A. State of Mind "isn't the pile of scrappy indifference it should have been", praising Melanie's breathy voice.
She positive and chosen "Sweet Pleasure", compared the song with "Justify My Love", by Madonna, and the ballads of Sheryl Crow, but negative about the song "Stay in Bed Day", described as "the only rubbish track" and appealing by Brown put her daughters in backing vocals singing, "Do I need therapy? Have I lost it in LA?".
Bárbara dos Anjos Lima of Abril said the album is "shameful and disastrous."