Archive for July, 2011


Can Monica Sustain Her Status?

A few weeks ago, the reigning R&B Princess, Monica released her newest single. Fans were so eager to hear her that they nearly almost crashed her website to get a taste of the Rick Ross/Lil’Kim assisted effort. Monica is riding high off a year that was simply miraculous. After a 4 year absence, Monica released her 6th studio album Still Standing to both critical and commercial success. The album debuted at #2 on the charts and went on to be one of her biggest selling albums to date.

The album spawned 2 hit single (which I think is a fail on her management team) and a nationwide tour with crooner Trey Songs. Let’s also not forget that she dumped her two timing boyfriend, with whom she has two kids, and married Lakers start Shannon Brown. Simply put, Monica was back.

In almost one full calendar year, it seems that Monica is ready to continue her reign and will be releasing a new album in the fall. The album, entitled New Life, is expected to be another great “Monica” album. Which means great dance tracks, amazing ballads, and some good ole R&B rolled into one. Let’s hope the public is still on board.

The reason for questioning whether or not Monica can sustain this time around is that we’ve all been here before. 5 years after her hit album The Boy is Mine she released her biggest smash yet, After the Storm. That album produced her biggest numbers both single and album wise and made her relevant again. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing at least one track from the album. 3 years later she released The Makings of Me which failed to move commercially and was panned critically. It was like she vanished overnight. No one seemed to care about the lackluster beats and tired lyrics she placed on the album. Even with songs like “Sideline Ho” on it, the album was a failure.

Can she hold on to her crown? OR will this just be a little bit of history repeating?

Check out her new track below:

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Frank Ocean has been an Indie hit since he released his debut mixtape Nostalgia. The lead single, “Novocane”, even made a debut on Billboard Charts which is almost unheard of. Since that release Frank has had several features and released a few teasers of his own music. In my opinion none have really lived up to his mixtape vibe so they’ve usually gotten one or two plays and then deleted from my music library. I started to believe he was a one-mixtape wonder, that he’d somehow released his only good music all at the same time.

Frank seems to be proving me wrong with the release of a new track. On “Thinking About You” he brings back the mixtape vibe I’ve loved so much about him. The track is mellow and slow but there’s some sense of hard bass to it. The lyrics are a bit choppy to be honest, some of them don’t really make sense, yet in the context of the song you don’t really question why they’re there. Frank does surprise a bit on the song by singing in his falsetto voice for the hook. It adds a sense of desperation to the song that his others didn’t have. It’s perfect for the song subject.

This track has renewed my interest in Frank. Hopefully he can stay out of twitter fights and get back in that studio to make some good music. Let’s hope so.

Check out the track here:

Today is the debut of Ms. Kelly Rowlands’ third solo album “Here I Am”. Let me make a disclaimer: I am a Kelly fan!! Like I huge Kelly Fan! But my love for journalism requires that I be impartial. So let me begin….It’s been four years since Kelly’s last effort: Ms. Kelly. Her second album featured hit singles “Like This” and “Ghetto” but failed to be commercially successful. The failure seemed a distant past when 2009 came around and Kelly not only released Matthew Knowles as her manager but she also released the #1 smash hit “When Love Takes Over”. The single garnered her and David Guetta a Grammy (her second) and made her a dance floor staple.

With her newest album, Kelly returns to her R&B roots and gives some pulsating beats to your stereo. Here I Am, like the title suggests, is a statement of independence, self love, and all around fierceness! Ms. Kelly is not at all playing games with this album. She starts off with the heavy-hitting “I’m Dat Chick”. The lyrics and production are simply on fire! I love her voice on this! Kelly goes on to let everyone know what kind of man she’d fall for on the Lil Playy assisted “Work it Man”.

Kelly continues with the hits with tracks like “Feeling Me Right Now”, “Down for Whatever”, and of course “Motivation”. Kelly seems to be racking the hits up…that is, until “Keep it Between Us” starts to play. Much like “Love” on Ms. Kelly, the song is just a big miss. It proves that Kelly just doesn’t do well with straight ballads. Her strengths definitely lie in the dance and midtempo tracks. Kelly also missteps with placing “Commander” on the album. The song has been out for over a year! Other tracks like “On & On”, to mention my favorite, could have been in its place.

One of my standout tracks for me have to be the sexy “All of the Night” featuring her main song writer Rico Love. The track is fire and the lyrics make me want to do all kinds of nasty things! Example: “In the middle of the bedroom, the kitchen or the hallway/ just give me a lot of leg room, and a little bit of foreplay”. Also, I had no idea Rico Love could actually rap! He turned me on like Donkey Kong! OKAAAY?

Check it out here:

My second favorite tack is the upbeat “Turn it Up” which tells the story of my life! Instead of telling his main chick that you’re the other chick and airing all his business out in public…I’ll just drink my anger away! I totally get this! Why care? You’re a two timing dog and it’s not going to change anytime soon, so I’d rather just get drunk!

Check it out here:

All in all, Here I Am is a magnificent album from one of the most underestimated artist this year! I’d definitely go out and buy this vs. just downloading it. Kelly is officially here!