Monica Is Back!

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Just as I thought I had heard the Grammy R&B album of the year, when Letoya Luckett released her long awaited solo effort, Monica has now dropped a good contender for that award. Ten years into her illustrious career, she is getting better and better.

"The Makings Of Me" is her first album since her gold selling After the storm album, the sale figures already look promising, already selling 182,000 units and already spent some time at # 1 on the R&B hot 200. It opens with the Jermaine Dupree-produced Everytime da beat drop, which is a club banger, it is not only for the light footed, young dancers out there but just about any body can bounce to this track. It has a very catchy and edgy riff.

Also featured on that track are fellow Atlantans Dem Franchize Boys. A Dozen Roses rolls through, a Missy Elliot produced sweet, lush, laid back and immaculate song that borrows from the 1970 Curtis Mayfield's The makings of you. Next is the mid tempo Side Line Ho, in the song Monica draws attention to all the girls on the side that guys just use, but don't really care for them. (“Does he take you to church?� “have you met his kid?� “No, because you’re a sideline ho.�)
Next is the Piano laced track, Why her?, as Monica tries to come to terms as to why her man cheated with a specific woman: Why her?/Did I get on your nerves?/Did I give you too much and you couldn't handle my love? Why her? Tell me what she was worth, to make you put her first. “Hell no,� is another drama filled song, featuring Twista, and Monica exhibits her rapping skills. “Doin me right,� is a laid back joint that sets the tone for the rest four out of five tracks.

The exception is the 9th song “Gotta move on� which is more up tempo and driven by heavy drum and bass line that will send your chest throbbing to the beat.

This album represents the future of R&B, though the distinctive classic sounds are ever present, but incorporated with news percussive sounds—it is a very exciting future indeed. The personnel is represented by who’s who of the music world. Musicians such as Swizzbeats, Tweet, Bryan Michael Cox and Sean Garrett.

Monica, who was discovered by the legendary producer Dallas Austin back in 1992, bust into the scene in 1995 with her Grammy winning, triple platinum album Miss thang. This is her fourth album to date and comes after a three year break in which Monica gave birth to her first child, and a rocky relationship with rapper Young Buck. This album is worthy of a comeback album tag.

Ocen Allimadi is The Black Star News’ music editor. Send all review materials including CDs, tapes and DVDs to Ocen Allimadi, 16 Curran House, Lucan Place, London SW10 3PG U.K.

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