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)
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Dawn Richard’s #ATellTaleHeart Mixtape Review [Download Link Included]

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Dawn Richard, just in case you didn’t know she is the main singer in Dirty Money, the new found name of Diddy’s money making strategy. Dawn used to be a part of Danity Kane. Now touring the world with Diddy and released an album with Diddy called “Last Train to Paris”, she is now getting a name for herself and getting the recognition that she deserves.

Dawn has released a mixtape called “A Tell Tale Heart” I became a fan of Dirty Money when I heard a track called “Love Come Down” which wasn’t on their album “Last Train to Paris”. In fact I quite despise “Last Train to Paris”! However I still wanted to see what Dawn Richard had to offer on her mixtape especially since it didn’t have the annoying man “Diddy” on it, I wanted to hear what she sounds like as a Solo artist.

Dawn has impressed me! I really wasn’t expecting the mixtape to impress me the way it did. However the mixtape does have some tracks that will receive the biggest negative bashing ever.

FOR EXAMPLE: Superhero (Accapella). Dawn love – Accapella does not include Auto tune and if it does in your books then I am seriously worried!

However Dawn does have some good tracks on this mixtape that are very Single Worthy! For example “Me Myself and Y” the smooth vocals and beat will defiantly get a lot of radio play! Another track that I think is class is “Broken Record”.

Dawn Richard sounds like a Cross between Ciara/Brandy and sounds a bit like Toni Braxton. She defiantly sounds like Ciara within the track “Vibrate”

Tracks that are defiantly worth listening are:

  • Superman
  • Biggest Fan
  • Me Myself & Y
  • Broken Record
  • Vibrate
  • Bulletproof

Download the mixtape here

The mixtape is a good effort from Dawn Richard! I hope to see more Solo stuff from her! I personally think Dawn is smart, If I was Dawn I would use Diddy to gain some Fame and get a name for herself and then she should move on to Bigger and better things! Because she defiantly can make it big within the right hands and the right team, because Diddy is only going to use her and Dirty Money to make the numbers in his Bank Account rise!