My Top 12 Favourite Singles Of 2012

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Some of you may not know, but throughout the course of the year I make playlists of all the songs/singles/albums that I am feeling every month of the year. As it’s the end of 2012 I thought I’ll share what my most played singles of the year were, every track representing a month in the calendar. Whilst I was doing this, I noticed that the start of 2012 was a weak start for music! Sorry to side-track, let’s get down to business.

12. Mary Mary‘Go Get It’

A lot of people don’t know that I like to listen to Gospel music from time to time. One of my favourite inspirational/Gospel tracks that took my heart this year has definitely been Mary Mary’s ‘Go Get It’. The song brought deliverance to my soul on such a ratchet level. I was finding myself running around my room shouting ‘GO GET IT! GO GET IT! GO GET IT! GO GETCHO BLESSING!!”. I just want to encourage everyone to go getcho blessing within 2013! It’s yo’ time!

11. Melanie Fiona‘This Time (feat. J. Cole)’

Melanie Fiona has taken the award as one of my favourite albums this year. However, ‘This Time’ has also been one of my favourite singles she’s released this year. Not because it features one of my favourite rappers, J. Cole, but because it was a good contemporary R&B track. The reason why this record is one of my favourite singles from ‘The MF Life’ is because it isn’t the typical ballad that you would hear from Fiona, I really took a liking to the record, not only because of the appealing beat, but because of the lyrical content as well. With better promotion, I believe ‘This Time’ would’ve crossed over and been a big hit not only on Urban radio charts but on Pop radio as well. Hopefully, Fiona’s team steps it up a notch in 2013!

10. 2 Chainz‘No Lie (feat. Drake)’

I was very late when I heard ‘No Lie’ by 2 Chainz. Mainly because I am not a fan of 2 Chainz’s shouting, so I was out of the loop for a good minute. Despite that, one day I turned on my radio and heard this song and from there it became one of my favourite songs! I was drawn to the song by Drake’s verse. You can’t deny, Drake has a unique tone that can make you instantly like a record. ‘No Lie’ was my head bopping track of the spring!

9. Azealia Banks‘212 (feat. Lazy Jay)’

The party anthem of 2012! I wasn’t sure who the artist behind this track was when I first heard it until someone told me. From that moment onwards, it was another anthem of my summer! The climax of the song is what makes this record what it is! If ‘212’ hasn’t been the highlight record of your year then you’ve been living under a rock. Please be free to dance like a white boy to this record, because I casually will.

8. Misha B‘Home Run’

I’ve always been a fan of Misha B from the days when she was on ‘The X-Factor’. When she released her mixtape, ‘Why Hello World’, earlier on this year, ‘Homerun’, was the stand out record on the project for me. Despite the duration of the mixtape version being only 1 minute, I still took a liking to the track. However, when she released the full version of the record it became another summer anthem of 2012! I even came up with my own adlibs; “Misha bludclart B you da baddest! Misha bludclart B you da baddest! Look at what you’ve done, done!”

7. Rick Ross‘Stay Schemin (feat. Drake and French Montana)’

I bet you’re shocked to see this song on the list! As we’ve already established, I can be ratchet at times. However, I like to bring out the hood in me too. ‘Stay Schemin’ brought out the hood side of me this year. Every time I heard this track it made me want to smoke weed and kick back and relax, and I don’t even smoke, never mind smoking weed! See how influentially music can be! Staying on track, this track was an anthem for me and a real close friend of mine! I definitely was Schemin’ throughout 2012.

6. Rita Ora‘How We Do (Party)’

Rita Ora exploded onto the music scene with her single ‘R.I.P. (feat. Tinie Tempah)’. I would’ve liked R.I.P. if Ora released a version without Tinie Tempah; he spoiled the record for me. However, when ‘Party & Bullshit’ (The original track name) surfaced on the internet, it was my anthem for a while; it was even my ringtone for a long period! It’s the perfect song to shout whilst you’re walking to the clubs with a water bottle filled Vodka and Coke. Please crank up the volume to this party anthem!

5. Emeli Sande‘My Kind Of Love’

Emeli Sande definitely has been the best breakthrough artist of 2012. Her album ‘Our Version of Events’ has received the credit it deserves and I am more than content with the success she has gained from it. ‘My Kind Of Love’ was the fourth single to be lifted off the project and it was one of those records that speak the truth in a considerate manner. Am I the only one that found myself shouting “THAT’S WHEN YOU FEEL MY KIND OF LOVE” every time I heard the track? The video gave a whole different meaning to the song and that’s the beauty of this single, it can relate to a lot of different situations. 2012 has definitely been Emeli Sande’s year!

4. Rebecca Ferguson‘Too Good To Lose’

I really enjoyed Rebecca Ferguson’s debut album, ‘Heaven’. I was definitely over the moon when she released ‘Too Good To Lose’ as a single as it is one of my favourite tracks from the album! The video suited the record perfectly, every time I heard the track on the radio, I turned up the volume and was singing along to it at the top of my lungs. It is one of those records that will brighten up my day! Even though the record didn’t do well on UK singles chart, it was still one of my favourite tracks of 2012. Ferguson is too underrated; I’m hoping that she becomes a bigger star within the upcoming year.

3. Ciara‘Sorry’

Ciara’s career hasn’t been easy over the past couple years. However, within 2012 we really saw the songstress try to get her career back to where it was. Ciara released ‘Sorry’ this autumn and as soon as I heard the song, I was speechless. The record say’s everything that had been on my mind for a while. I was nearly drawn to tears. I didn’t know Ciara had that kind of power! I found myself listening to ‘Sorry’ in the morning, on my way to university, on my way home from university, on my way to work, on my way back home from work and once again before I went to sleep. It’s safe to say I was addicted to this record! ‘Sorry’ really captured my heart!

2. Keyshia Cole‘Enough Of No Love (feat. Lil’ Wayne)’

*GASP* Keyshia Cole is not #1 on my top 12 Favourite singles of 2012!? Shock horror! I have to be honest with myself. Everyone knows I love Keyshia Cole with all my heart and nothing is going to change that. She exploded back onto the music scene with ‘Enough of No Love’ scoring her first top 10 R&B hit since ‘Trust (feat. Monica)’. This record was my ringtone and I couldn’t stop quoting the song on my Twitter. It just weighed into certain situations that were happening in my life at the time. This is another reason why I love Keyshia Cole; she always pops up at the right time! ‘Enough Of No Love’ may not be #1 but you know it was another anthem of mine throughout the last quarter of the year!

1. Solange‘Losing You’

Solange has taken the crown for my FAVOURITE single of 2012! When Solange returned to the music scene with ‘Losing You’ I was astounded as to how she came back with a fresh sound! One thing I love Solange for is her diversity and her will power to stand out from the crowd! She never conforms and always stays in her lane. ‘Losing You’ was repeated constantly. Despite it being released during the last quarter of the year, it still had a huge impact on me. In fact, it is currently my ringtone! In the words of Tamar Braxton – Miss Knowles, you did that!

So there we have it, my top 12 favourite singles of 2012. It was very difficult to pick 12 tracks but I got there in the end! Do you agree with the list? What were your favourite singles of 2012?

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Album Review: Keyshia Cole – ‘Woman To Woman’

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For those of you who don’t know (then you’re major late), Keyshia Cole is my favourite artists! I would explain why she is my favourite artist, but I really don’t have the time. As a result, I’ve decided to review her sixth studio album, ‘Woman To Woman’, which was released earlier on this week (November 19th).

After her fourth studio album, ‘Calling All Hearts’, was a hit and miss, Cole knew that she had to come back with a burning flame with her new project. Despite her hardcore fans claiming that they really appreciated the project, other fans said otherwise and her sale figures were also disappointing. So, being the fighter that she is, Cole is back with ‘Woman To Woman’.

“This record has to be one of her best vocal tracks of all time! The songstress really experimented with her range on…”

The first single to be lifted off the project was, ‘Enough Of No Love’. Cole exploded back on to the scene with this record, which featured Lil’ Wayne. ‘Enough Of No Love’ certainly was the record that showed everyone that Cole was back and she meant business. The track even scored the songstress her first top 10 R&B hit since ‘Trust (feat. Monica)’. The tune peaked at #7 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts and #84 on the Hot 100. If you haven’t seen the video to Cole’s ‘Enough Of No Love’ then watch it here below:

After ‘Enough Of No Love’ burnt down US radio stations, fans were ready for the second single. Being the generous artist that Cole is, she told fans the title of her second single via Twitter, ‘Trust and Believe’. Being the hardcore Cole fan that I am, I thought the record was going to be an inspiring track, because if you observe the songstress like I do, you’ll realise that one of her favourite  quotes is “Trust and Believe”. Regardless, I couldn’t wait to hear the track, however, when I heard the track I wasn’t expecting what I heard. Cole brought back the heartbroken girl from her ‘The Way It Is’ and ‘Just Like You’ projects. It was an “wait a minute!” moment!

Not to mention she released the video for the record which had everybody’s mother, auntie, cousin and Godmother screaming at their laptop/television screens with “YES KEYSHIA!” If you haven’t watched the video for ‘Trust and Believe’ then please do not hesitate to watch it below:

Now, after hearing those two singles, everybody was anxious to hear what the songstress had to offer with the project, ‘Woman To Woman’. Despite the album coming out the same day as Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ and Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up’, Cole’s “Diamonds” were not phased.

Cole opens up the album with the lead single from the project, ‘Enough Of No Love’, but since we’ve already discussed that record, let’s move on to one of my favourite tracks from the album, ‘Missing Me’. This record for me is one of the outstanding tracks on the album. The songwriter sings “Who do you think you are? To say that you are the best that I ever had? But you’re missing me now, now that my love ain’t around”. This song is certainly for those who love the phrase “you never know what you got, until it’s gone.”

“A lot of people were puzzled as to why Cole put such an irrelevant artist such as Ashanti on such a hyped record…”

A lot of people say that all Cole’s music is dedicated to the broken hearted. However, on the record, ‘Get It Right’, the songstress speaks about her lover just not giving her “the loving” the way how they used to. Surely, some of you can relate to this situation where one moment in time you’re trying to make love and you realise that your partner is just not in it the way how they used to. Cole is advising you to tell your partner to ‘Get It Right’ on this album.

Moving swiftly on, I have to speak on the record that had a lot of anticipation surrounding it, the album title track, ‘Woman To Woman’. A lot of people were puzzled as to why Cole put such an irrelevant artist such as Ashanti on such a hyped record. If it makes you feel better, originally Brandy was enlisted for the track. Unfortunately, Brandy couldn’t do the record, but Ashanti did a good enough job. ‘Woman To Woman’ is definitely a female duet what R&B has been missing. Brandy and Monica failed miserably at it with their recent duet, ‘It All Belongs To Me’, but Cole & Ashanti brought the fire with this track and hopefully they release it as a single, as the record is too strong for it to be swept under the carpet.

“Considering Cole has never done dance records before, ‘Here We Go’ is one of the reasons why she should never do it again.”

I want to briefly speak on Cole’s vocals on this album. First of all, Elijah Blake really took the spotlight from Cole on ‘Wonderland’ however, the track is flawless regardless. Elijah Blake is definitely one to keep an eye on. Despite Elijah Blake stealing the shine on ‘Wonderland’ Cole claims back her spotlight with ‘I Choose You’. This record has to be one of her best vocal tracks of all time! The songstress really experimented with her range on ‘I Choose You’, I have never heard her sing in that range before, however, I hope she proceeds to use this range on future records! The latter record is definitely the outstanding track on ‘Woman To Woman’.

Within reason, ‘Woman To Woman’ closes out with the beautiful love song, ‘Signature‘. This is a graceful love song which should be suggested to be added to a wedding playlist. ‘Signature’ is also a different record from the love songs that the songwriter has done in the past; it shows her vocal ability and definitely is another strong contender with the other outstanding tracks that have been mentioned within this review. However, whilst listening to the iTunes deluxe edition of ‘Woman To Woman’ I was rather shaken up when I heard ‘Here We Go’. Ladies and gentlemen, ‘Here We Go’ is a dance record. Considering Cole has never done dance records before, ‘Here We Go’ is one of the reasons why she should never do it again. As the latter record is the weakest track on the album and doesn’t suit the vibe of ‘Woman to Woman’. The lyrical content for the record is on point; however, coming from a fan that loves Cole’s music and has enjoyed every material she has released from the beginning of her career, I would advise her to never try dance music again. It definitely is not her forte.

Overall, ‘Woman To Woman’ is a good comeback album from Cole. Considering the backlash she received from the previous contender, ‘Calling All Hearts’ it definitely is within my top 3 out of 5 favourite albums from the songstress. All Cole needs to do, is to promote the project and continue to deliver good vocal performances and she will surely have a successful album on her hands. I am a very proud of this album and the songwriter should be also!

Outstanding tracks

  1. Enough Of No Love (Feat. Lil’ Wayne)
  2. Missing Me
  3. Trust And Believe
  4. Get It Right
  5. Woman To Woman (Feat. Ashanti)
  6. Wonderland (Feat. Elijah Blake)
  7. I Choose You
  8. Hey Sexy
  9. Who’s Gonna Hold Me Down
  10. Signature
  11. Wonder
  12. I Can’t Make You Love Me

12/16 tracks!

Another Announcement…

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The last time I posted an announcement on my blog, it was to announce that I was the new writer for TrueExclusives. Thank you to everyone who supported TrueExclusives while I was writing for the site, and continue to show support for the site! However, I have now left TrueExclusives and I now write for another Urban blog.

For those of you who don’t know, TheLavaLizard is an Urban blog that post’s music news such as: New music videosnew songsalbum reviewsaward shows coveragetour datesUS Chart follow ups and many more! The site might just teach you a few things about your favourite artist that you’ve never known before with the feature articles titled, ‘Music Minute’. If you’re not a reader of The Lava Lizard, (then you need to be converted) it gives constructive criticism towards artists such as: Rihanna, Beyonce, Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Bieber and many more!

So, thank you all again for the support and being apart of this journey, continue to show the support. Let’s get it poppin’ on TheLavaLizard!

Album Review: Usher – ‘Looking 4 Myself’

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At the start of the year there was a lot of anticipation that 2012 would be the year that R&B will be the leading genre on the charts. At the moment, it doesn’t seem that way.

Usher has released his 7th studio album ‘Looking 4 Myself’ this week. I would be lying if I said that Usher isn’t one of my favourite male artists, I won’t forget moments of me standing in front of my TV learning the routine to ‘U-Turn’ and the dance break in ‘U Got It Bad’. However, a question that continues to emerge in people’s minds is; “has Usher lost it?” I think the title of his new album answers those questions.

Usher’s album has the potential to be great. However, everything is just scattered all over the place.

Usher preceded this album with the single, ‘Climax’, which set the world on fire. ‘Climax’ reached #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and debuted at #4 on the official UK Singles Chart. Everybody thought Usher was reinventing R&B with this project, until he released dance record, ‘Scream’. ‘Scream’ is the typical dance record that you would hear on the radio. If you’re an R&B fan like I am, ‘Scream’ is the kind of record you’d roll your eyes to. If you haven’t heard ‘Climax’ or ‘Scream’ you can listen to them below:

 

However, despite hearing 'Scream' I still wanted to give the album a chance. The question is; should I have bothered?

Have you ever seen a shopping trolley full of groceries and suddenly the trolley would get tipped over and all of the groceries are on the floor? That, ladies & gentlemen is how I would describe Usher's new album. The reason I am using groceries as an example is because everybody needs groceries, however, what use are they if they're scattered all over a supermarket floor and damaged? Usher's album has the potential to be great. However, everything is just scattered all over the place.

 'Looking 4 Myself' has to be the worse album Usher has released to date.

The album has a lot of R&B cut's, 'Looking 4 Myself' is definitely not a pop/dance record. However, the tracks that made the album just aren’t strong enough. There are a few cuts that stood out to me. To be quite honest with you, I only enjoyed 4 tracks on the album and that includes 'Climax'.

One of those four tracks is, 'Dive'. 'Dive' is the kind of record that we all love to hear Usher singing. It’s the sort of slow jam that you will find yourself bopping your head to in the car, or it could be a part of your upcoming sex playlist. Yes, I took it there. If there was a track that I could compare 'Dive' to, it would have to be 'Mars vs. Venus' which was featured on Usher's 'Raymond V. Raymond' album.

Another sexy cut from 'Looking 4 Myself' is, 'Lessons For The Lover'. The latter is a record where Usher gives the lover's advice on what to do after an argument. He drops the lyric:

"Just let that argument, turn you on".

The production of 'Lessons for the Lover' reassured me of why I am a fan of Usher. If the whole of 'Looking 4 Myself' had great production like 'Climax', 'Dive' and 'Lessons For The Lover' then the R&B singer would definitely have a ground breaking album on his hands. Rather than an album that resembles a messy supermarket floor.

However, Usher has a track on the Deluxe version of 'Looking 4 Myself' titled 'Euphoria'. This record is a strong dance record, it most definitely will a single.

On a whole, I would have to say 'Looking 4 Myself' has to be the worse album Usher has released to date. Hopefully, the R&B singer get's it together on his future projects and hopefully, finds himself. These are the songs that stood out to me from the album:

  1. Climax
  2. I Care for U
  3. Dive
  4. Lessons For The Lover

Album Review: Monica ‘New Life’

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Without a doubt, Monica is one of my favourite female R&B singers. If you’re not familiar with the quote “kick down your doors and smack your chick!” then you’ve been missing out;  as that quote comes from Monica’s best album of her career thus far; ‘After The Storm’. A lot of people are waiting for Monica to release a project superior to the latter. With her new album ‘New Life’ being released earlier this week, could Monica outshine her 2003 album? It’s very unlikely.

As I carried on listening to the project, I became very reckless and frustrated; ‘New Life’ is very dull!

Monica’s ‘New Life’ hasn’t been easy, the album was pushed back numerous amount of times just so they could reconstruct the project. The track ‘Anything (To Find You)’ was released on 2nd August 2011, the record features the oversized rapper, Rick Ross. However, how many of you were aware that Monica originally wanted Lil’ Kim to be on the record? As you’ve probably gathered, Lil’ Kim didn’t make the final cut of the record because of sampling issues, which left Monica releasing the track with just Rick Ross. The track climbed to #25 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and is featured on the deluxe edition of the album. Have you seen the video to ‘Anything (To Find You)’ video? Watch it below:

Have you heard ‘Anything (To Find You) featuring Rick Ross & Lil’ Kim? Listen to it here:

Monica then released the cut ‘Until Its Gone’ on September 27th 2011. This track got lost in the wind with Monica’s label issue’s and had less to nothing promotion. However, regardless of the wondering single, Monica still released a video for the record. Watch the video for ‘Until Its Gone’ below:

The album has no spark and it is very disheartening! I cannot stress how underwhelming this album is.

Despite the statistics for these records, I took a liking to both tracks. However, I lost all excitement for ‘New Life’ when Monica decided to reunite with her old friend, Brandy. The lasttime we heard from this duo was 14 years ago when they released Grammy Nominated, ‘The Boy Is Mine’. Trying to gain another hit, Monica & Brandy released ‘It All Belongs to Me’, which unfortunately, is underwhelming! The Rico Love cut see’s these ladies claiming back their “Macbook’s” and telling their partner’s to “lock off” their Facebook because all of these things belong to them.  Have you seen the video to ‘It All Belongs to Me’? Watch it below:

Now that we’ve got the singles out of the way, it’s time to discuss the project. ‘New Life’ opens up with an intro that feature’s Mary J. Blige. The Intro consists of Monica “Packing up her yesterday’s” and Blige comparing Monica’s old life to her present, through a phone conversation. I think the intro is very unnecessary and tacky. Monica could’ve scrapped up a better intro than the latter. As I carried on listening to the project, I became very reckless and frustrated; ‘New Life’ is very dull!

I found ‘New Life’ very frustrating because; I was expecting Monica to bring the fire back in R&B. Let’s create a scenario; you give someone the Olympic torch, and they run with it recklessly, drop it and out the fire. That’s how I feel when it comes to ‘New Life’.There was a buzz for R&B at the start of 2012. A lot of people were anticipating that Monica and Brandy, along with other artists, were going to bring back the fire in R&B. So far, Monica hasn’t brought anything towards the genre. The album has no spark and it is very disheartening! I cannot stress how underwhelming this album is. I was expecting Monica to really deliver on this album; instead she gave me music that I can tap my foot to whilst on public transport.  I really wish I can pin-point specific tracks that were outstanding on her album, but they all pretty much sound the same. However, one track that really stood out to me was ‘Time to Move On’. This track reminded me of ‘Misty Blue’ on Monica’s sophomore album ‘The Boy Is Mine’. The latter has a Gospel vibe to it, and has to be the most eccentric thing Monica has done with this album.

Furthermore, Monica really needs to let go of her past. She spoke about it on her previous album ‘Still Standing’ and she is still on the same bandwagon. Same album, different CD. I’ll forgive Monica for the lack of enthusiasm in this album as she has been going through a transition with her record label, but I advise her to get back into the studio and start putting the fire back; not only in R&B but also in her music!

Finally, if this project is a representation of Monica’s New Life then it must be very boring, and inevitable.

Brandy, you’re next.

Worth Listening To:

  • Daddy’s Good Girl
  • Until It’s Gone
  • Amazing
  • Cry
  • Time to Move On
  • Anything (To Find You) (feat. Rick Ross)

Album Review: Nicki Minaj – ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’

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This “rapper” became one of my favourite artist’s when I discovered her mixtapes and her debut album. You cannot deny that Nicki Minaj, at one point in your life was one of your favourite female rappers to listen to. Her debut album, ‘Pink Friday’, was a huge success, it went platinum after a month of its release. We all thought that Minaj was going to be a dominant female in Hip-Hop. I wrote a review on her debut album when it was released. Just like Melanie Fiona’s debut album, ‘Pink Friday’ was one of my most played albums in 2010. Minaj has now released the follow-up to her debut album titled ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’. However, will I be playing this album continuously as I did with her previous album?

When Minaj started off this era I was very confused. A track titled ‘Roman in Moscow’ surfaced on the internet, which had everyone questioning how this album would sound; as ‘Roman in Moscow’ was appalling! After ‘Roman in Moscow’, she announced the first single off the album, ‘Stupid Hoe’. The dislikes on YouTube speaks for the song itself. The music video for the latter currently has 506,263 dislikes and has 233,642 likes. For those who have no mathematical intellect, the music video has more dislikes than likes. So, as nobody was dazzled by ‘Roman in Moscow’ or ‘Stupid Hoe’, what was next for Minaj? She releases a dance record, ‘Starships’. Which if you’re a fan of Minaj for her Rapping skill’s you would’ve been highly disappointed by ‘Starships’. ‘Starships’ is very pop-culture which is the definition of this album.

The opening of the album is defiantly the highlight of the record, especially for the Hip-Hop fans, or should I say “for the people that know quality music!”

The album opens up with the track ‘Roman Holiday’, which Minaj performed at the 2012 Grammy Awards. This track most certainly makes me laugh. Why, you ask? Because I was sitting there questioning Minaj’s writing skills! In the middle of the track Minaj starts mumbling lyrics, not only that but you have lyrics such as: “Witch………… Twitch……………. Bitch” When I heard these lyrics I couldn’t help but laugh. However, I did enjoy the track. Call me deluded, but I enjoy it when Minaj spazzes out. Maybe I have a personality disorder like Minaj? Only time will tell. Have you seen Minaj perform ‘Roman Holiday’ at the Grammy Awards? Watch it below:

Minaj then carries on the Hip-Hop vibe throughout the opening of the album. Can’t forget to mention, ‘Come on a Cone’ where Minaj breaks out singing about putting a dick in somebody’s face. The opening of the album is definitely the highlight of the record, especially for the Hip-Hop fans, or should I say “for the people that know quality music!” ‘I Am Your Leader’ we hear from absent rapper Cam’ron and the jelly-belly rapper Rick Ross. ‘I Am Your Leader’ is said to be a huge fan-favourite on the album. However, I only like the chorus; the track doesn’t appeal to me at all. On the other hand, I definitely took a liking to the track ‘Hov Lane’, ‘Beez in the Trap’ which features 2-Chainz and ‘Roman Reloaded’ which features label mate Lil’ Wayne. Unfortunately, after these tracks I started to lose interest in the album. Even the track ‘Right by My Side’, which features my favourite male artist, Chris Brown, couldn’t bring back my interest for the album.

If Minaj wants to be successful in Pop-culture she needs to have a look at Missy Elliott’s career.

As previously stated, I lost interest in the album after specific tracks. The reason behind this is because the album went from Hip-Hop to Pop. Minaj didn’t waste any time with the transition of genres on the record. After the track ‘Sex in the Lounge’ which features Bobby Valentino and Lil’ Wayne the album just becomes a David Guetta project. I became so disappointed in Minaj, I understand that as an artist you must experiment with different sounds, and I understand that she wants to have a lasting career. However, Minaj must realise that she cannot sing, and her singing all over these dance tracks is not acceptable! I could understand if Minaj rapped over these dance tracks like she did with David Guetta’s ‘Where Them Girls At’ but Minaj is just singing and dropping weak verses here and there and it’s disappointing!

When it comes to the “Pink Friday: David Guetta Reloaded” side of the album the only tracks I enjoyed were ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and ‘Young Forever’. However, the deluxe edition track ‘Va Va Voom’ might grow on me; It is very smooth and I have a weakness for smooth tracks.

Overall, I am very disappointed in this album. Minaj’s debut album was a SOLID record and I was hoping she would continue to release good hip-hop music. She has just proven that she gave me false hope. Minaj’s excuse for this unpleasant music is because she is a “Business Woman”. Lately I have noticed that when artists claim they are a ‘Business person’ it means that they are looking for a hit, something that will boost the zeros in their bank balance. Point out all the artists that say they are a ‘Musician’ and point out the artists that say they are ‘Business people’, compare their music and you have a sociology theory. If Minaj wants to be successful in Pop-culture she needs to have a look at Missy Elliott’s career. Elliott has done dance/pop tracks; however, the reason why Elliott was able to crossover is because she brought “hip-pop” into the industry. Elliott kept it very hip-hop when she crossed over and that is what Minaj needs to do!

Outstanding Tracks

  • Roman Holiday
  • Come On a Cone
  • Beez in the Trap (Feat. 2-Chainz)
  • Hov Lane
  • Roman Reloaded (Feat. Lil’ Wanye)
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Young Forever

Minaj has recently released the video to her upcoming single ‘Beez in the Trap (feat. 2-Chainz)’. Watch it below:

Album Review: Melanie Fiona – The MF Life

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Her debut album was one of my most played albums of 2009. It was very refreshing to hear a fresh female singer that has soul and emotion. ‘The Bridge’ surely impressed me. So, when it came down to her sophomore album I was hoping that Melanie Fiona wouldn’t lose my interest, and thankfully she didn’t!

‘The MF Life’ started off rather rocky. ‘Gone and Never Coming Back’ was the first single to be released off the album. Which didn’t do so well in the Billboard charts, however, the track was a fan favourite. Every time BET 106 & Park played the video on their countdown she would trend on Twitter. The next single to be lifted off the project was ‘4am’. Unfortunately, I didn’t warm to this track first hand. Regardless of me not liking the track first hand, I didn’t give up on ‘4am’ and after a while I got into the concept and it became one of those tracks that I found myself repeating.

I’m telling you, when you hear this song, it will take your breath away…

‘The MF Life’ is very different. Melanie spoke about her love life in interviews before the album dropped, she informed interviewees that she has been broken hearted and she will be speaking about the heartbreak within the project. Automatically, I was excited to hear the album. Give me a heartbreak album over an album talking about “you a stupid hoe, you a stupid hoe, you a stupid hoe (stupid, stupid, stupid)” any day!  However, what I’ve learnt from ‘The MF Life’ is that when an artist say’s that the album is going to be about “Heartbreak” it doesn’t mean that it will be full of ballads. That’s defiantly something that I’ve learnt by listening to ‘The MF Life’.

Melanie opens up the album with the track ‘This Time’ which features Label band mate J. Cole. This track you hear Melanie singing about what she will do this time around now that Love has come. It has an appealing beat and will surely do well on urban radio stations.

 

‘The MF Life’ had to grow on me…

‘Wrong Side Of A Love Song’. Every time I hear this song, I go into a moment of silence. ‘Wrong Side of A Love Song’ is everything that the title says. However, you must reverse it around to a real life situation. Melanie states in the chorus “How did I end up of a long song?” Have you ever felt like you’re on the wrong side of life? Have you ever felt like this is not the life you’re meant to be living? Have you ever felt like you’re on the WRONG SIDE OF LOVE!? ‘Wrong Side of a Love Song’ will breakdown your feelings. Melanie opens up the song with “Where were you, when I needed a friend?” I’m telling you, when you hear this song, it will take your breath away. Not only with the lyrics but with Melanie’s vocals!

As I’ve previously stated, the album is not about ballads, and this next track proves my point. ‘Change The Record’ features rapper B.o.B.  I didn’t understand the track during my first listen of ‘The MF Life’. ‘Change the Record’ evaluates when you have someone in your life that is playing the same old games and it’s time for them to change the record. This track will defiantly appeal to the mainstream crowd and surely will do well on the charts if released as a single. With the catch phrase “I hear ya DJ, I hear ya DJ!” surely Melanie has a hit on her hands if she releases ‘Change the Record’ as a single.

Another track that will surely appeal to the mainstream crowd is the mash-up track ‘6AM’ which features T-Pain and remixes his track ‘5am’ and Melanie’s ‘4AM’.

In conclusion if you think ‘The MF Life’ is all about Ballad’s, you’d be mistaken. One thing I must congratulate Melanie about with this album is the fact that I never lost interest whilst listening to it. Whilst listening to albums you can get very bored of listening to the same topic throughout the record, Melanie didn’t do that with ‘The MF Life’, the album is very diverse. One track that shows her diversity is ‘Watch Me Work’. Melanie leaves the heartbreak alone on this track and starts to show off. In comparison to her previous album ‘Watch Me Work’ is very much like ‘Ay Yo’.

However, I must state that ‘The MF Life’ had to grow on me. I didn’t like the album at first because I was expecting ballads; I was shocked by the diversity of the album. Regardless, I didn’t give up on the album because it isn’t a terrible project, I just had to understand the concept of the album. I will surely recommend this album to anybody of any age, specifically a younger audience. I can see a little girl dancing in front of her mirror whilst listening to this project.

Out-standing tracks

  1. This Time (feat. J. Cole)
  2. 4AM
  3. Break Down These Walls
  4. Wrong Side Of A Love Song
  5. Running (feat. Nas)
  6. Change The Record (feat. B.O.B)
  7. Gone and Never Coming Back
  8. Can’t Say I Never Loved You
  9. 6AM (Feat. T-Pain)
  10. Gone (La, Da, Di) (feat. Snoop Dogg)
  11. Can’t Do This Anymore
  12. What Am I To Do

12/18 tracks

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