I really, really enjoyed this album. And I thought I’d hate it because “Radio” was not the business as a first single. “Ifuleave” didn’t really make me jump either. But we are so caught up in singles these days, no one appreciates an album. Musiq does though. He does a great job with sequencing and in the context of the WHOLE album, all the songs above are great. Even “Radio” has grown on me, now that I am assured that he hasn’t forgotten what he is king of these days — the midtempo, heartfelt ballad. I applaud him for trying something new, though a couple of times he gets the side-eye (especially on the reggae-esque “Iwannabe”), but overall, it’s a solid album. Actually, it’s so good that it feels too short. My favorites are “Radio” (now, LOL), “Dearjohn” and “Sobeautiful”. Definitely cop this one! A-.
More reviews after the jump…
Wow, don’t even bother. Quite honestly, I was HIGHLY disappointed with this album, and I wasn’t even expecting that much in the first place. It’s sad though, because even after they had a show, I think they got lost in the Def Jam shuffle and since the person that seemed to be spearheading their album passed on, I hope they can regroup and maybe try again. But don’t even waste the money on this joint. I won’t even give it a letter grade. This is definitely a don’t bother!
You know, some people swear by Keyshia Cole and while she has glimmers at time that make me toss her a 2nd look, this album is not convincing me that she’s going to grow vocally. This album bored me so ya’ll. I really tried to like it, especially after I heard she had gone platinum (someone needs more people).
Overall I find Keyshia to be a sub-par vocalist and her & her labels choice of material often puzzles me. Lyrically and thematically, I was just not moved by this album. I felt like they tried to show growth by smattering in samplings of other genre’s on top of Keyshia’s often understated and sometimes monotonous vocals. I can’t be convinced that Keyshia is a “great” in our time as she seemed poised to be. While her look has definitely matured, her vocal ability and presentation haven’t. I know 30 Keyshia Cole’s in my own hood, what makes her so special? She needs to prove that she deserves the money and time that are spent on her. She’s alright, but…nothing great.
That Tupac song was SO tragic. And to choose it as a single? Girl, stop! Also, featuring Monica on the song “Trust” was a misstep because unlike Brandy, Keyshia doesn’t have the vocal prowess to go toe-to-toe with Mo’. I feel like she thoroughly outsung her on her own song. That’s my opinion. I’m calling this one a don’t bother. C+.
I’ve been a Kierra “Kiki” Sheard fan since she first picked a mic with her mama, and while she’s on her third official album, she’s been around for a minute. Having dropped a massive amount of weight, Kierra’s back with a vengeance and a new sound on her album Bold Right Life. And while I support trying new things, overall this album is departure from her urban driven sound of her past projects. She takes a more eclectic and at times contemporary approach with her music this time around. I feel like in an ever-increasingly diverse Christian world, Kierra’s trying to get as many ears as possible.
Personally, after the first 2-3 songs, I get lost in the cacophony of her brother’s production and the subject matter. But maybe I am getting too old for her LOL. I know a lot of my friends are also not really digging this one on the whole as much as they have in the past. Besides “Wave Your Banner” and “Won’t Hold Back” (the latter which instantly gets you moving, the former which takes some getting used to), I could leave the rest of this album. I’m gonna say get what you want on iTunes and for the rest, don’t bother. B-.
Anthony Hamilton – The Point of it All.
Don’t bother. Anthony, while definitely a soulful vocalist, has gone off the plantation this album and I’m not really feeling much of the material at all. Song selection is everything, and this is a prime example of that. Die hard fans will probably love it, but it made me want to go back and listen to “Coming From Where I’m From.” C-
Hezekiah Walker – Souled Out
Cop this! Pastor Hezekiah turns in a great album, though at times I feel like him and his choir, writers and musicians are on auto-pilot, especially with the rehashing of some of his older songs. However, the excellent “Triumph” at the end of the album more than makes up for that. The lead singer on that joint tears it back. Also the “God Favored Me” with Marvin Sapp and others also takes you in. B+.
Jamie Foxx – Intuition
Cop it. Jamie turns in a decent album, though at times he simply channels the producer he’s working with. Jamie is at his best I think when it’s just him, a piano, and a microphone. While he does the “young folks” music pretty convincingly on such songs as “Digital Girl” and my favorite, “Blame It”, there are some times when his pandering is definitely forced. With T-Pain channeling The-Dream on “Digital Girl” and with Kanye channeling T-Pain on “Blame It”, it makes you wonder whose album this really is though. The album goes from hot sticky dance cuts to tepid and syrupy ballads, and it’s hard to find a balance on this joint. Overall though, it’s a decent listen if you have nothing else to do, and if you are a fan of Jamie’s you will probably like some joints on this. B-.