Tag: Album Review

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Album Review: Ciara – ‘Jackie’

In recent history, Ciara‘s personal life has superseded her musical career–and for obvious reasons. Nearly a year after announcing her engagement to hip-hop artist, Future, the singer shockingly called off the anticipated wedding, followed by rumors of infidelity on the rapper’s part. She even graced the cover of Brides magazine, donning a wedding dress she would ultimately never get the chance to wear. As most artists do when met with personal strife, Cici put her public breakup on wax with her first single “I Bet.” It gave listeners a glimpse into what the singer thought of the betrayal from the… Continue Reading

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Album Review: Ne-Yo – ‘Non-Fiction’

Ne-Yo has long been lauded as one of the industry’s most successful songwriters. Penning female-centric anthems for the likes of Beyoncé (“Irreplaceable”) and Rihanna (“Take A Bow”) the 32-year-old has illustrated his knack for understanding the point of view of the woman. As a solo artist with hit records of his own, the singer has often used the woman as his lyrical muse, whether mourning how she broke his heart (“So Sick”) or celebrating her independence (“Miss Independent”). With his sixth studio album, Non-Fiction, Ne-Yo continues this musical trend, touring through the highs and lows of being a man with… Continue Reading

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Album Review: Jazmine Sullivan – ‘Reality Show’

Though reality television has procured quite the bad reputation over the years, one can’t deny its ability to mirror some of truths of the human race, no matter how flawed it may be. On any given show you’re sure to recognize recurring themes of vanity, greed and toxic relationships, among other vices. These are just a few of the explored subject matters on Jazmine Sullivan’s third studio album, Reality Show, the first release since her very felt hiatus from the music industry back in 2011. Four years later, Sullivan takes contemporary television and uses it as her muse in what… Continue Reading

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Album Review: Candice Glover – ‘Music Speaks’

There’s an unfair stigma that comes along with the American Idol title. Some have managed to eclipse its sugary brand, while others were forgotten as quickly as they shot to fame. There are even fewer successful urban acts, however, to come out of the reality singing competition machine. With the exceptions of Fantasia, Ruben Studdard and the most storied career of Jennifer Hudson, there’s not much of a blueprint for R&B singers in the space of American Idol. With her debut album Music Speaks, last year’s winner Candice Glover is clearly trying to sketch her name on that short and… Continue Reading

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Album Review: Lyfe Jennings’ ‘Lucid’ Gives It To You Straight, With No Chaser

In every walk of life, there’s that one person who gives it to you straight with no chaser. In the world of R&B, Lyfe Jennings is just that. While most R&B heartthrobs are watering down their lyrics to basic, straightforwardness about sex and the woman’s anatomy, Lyfe Jennings refreshingly offers soul music that isn’t just pleasing to the ear but also stimulating to the mind. Despite his superior lyricism, Jennings has always been a musical outlier within the genre. While hits like “S.E.X.” and “Must Be Nice” turned out to be great commercial successes for the singer, he’s yet to… Continue Reading

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Album Review: TGT Take Back Their Crowns on ‘3 Kings’

It’s rare that contemporaries such as Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank would put aside their individual solo successes to form a super trio like TGT. R&B’s much talked about “decline” has given rise to a rather competitive musical terrain, where solidarity is seldom embraced. But rather seeing each other as competition, the men of TGT join forces to become R&B saviors, while avoiding the trappings of hip-hop and pop influences that have deflated the quality of a genre once known for its “rhythm and blues.” Offering classic bedroom music, TGT’s debut album 3 Kings is primarily geared toward their female listeners,… Continue Reading

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ALBUM REVIEW: Ciara Gets Her Groove Back on ‘Ciara’

Ciara has certainly had some twists and turns in her career. After label spats and underwhelming record sales, it seemed as if the Atlanta singer had lost her way – or at least the music industry had lost her. On her fifth studio self-titled album, however, Ciara needs no help being found. On Ciara, CiCi is back with a sassy vengeance. Putting her last two commercially waned albums (Fantasy Ride, Basic Instincts) to the side, Ciara dusts herself off and comes out swinging. If her lead single, “Body Party,” the album’s comeback record that single-handedly resurrected the singer’s career straight to… Continue Reading

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Album Review: Kelly Rowland Finds Musical Voice on ‘Talk A Good Game’

Three albums and ten years have led up to Kelly Rowland’s fourth studio album Talk A Good Game. Despite her massive popularity overseas and moderate success in the US, the Destiny’s Child founding member has been met with ceaseless comparisons to her more iconic band member Beyonce, so much so that a musical shadow – whether legitimate or conjured up by fans – has silenced Rowland’s fair chance at superstardom. For years, that comparison along with sensational rumors have garnered more scrutiny than Kelly’s de facto talent. So it comes as no surprise that when Rowland released her groundbreaking single “Dirty… Continue Reading

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Album Review: Chrisette Michele Is At Her Best on ‘Better’

Ever since Chrisette Michele’s silky jazz voice was introduced to the music world back in 2006 on Jay-Z’s “Lost One,” her sound – a melding of jazz and R&B – has become a musical trademark. Among a roster of sassy R&B divas belting man-bashing anthems and trivial sex music, Michele takes a subtle, more narrating approach on Better, her fourth studio album and first release in three years. Focusing on love and heartache, Chrisette goes by R&B’s formulaic playbook, but with her own artistic annotations. Much like her previous albums, Better is housed with penetrable storytelling, bluesy melodies and soaring vocals. But… Continue Reading