Monica, New Life, Same Sound.

Monica
New Life
RCA
April 10, 2012

I will give credit where it’s due. When I was in 8th grade Monica’s first singles “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” and “Before You Walk out of My Life” were my jams. Then when Monica did that duet with Brandy talking about “The Boy is Mine” by that point I was a junior in high school and we all thought we were bad ass playing that song on each other’s answering machine’s. (If you were really cool your pager had an answering machine.) Monica could sing, she was cute with her overalls, and we related to her music. We were teenagers. We grew up. Unfortunately, her music did not.

Monica released her seventh studio album today, also you can now purchase vanilla ice cream at your local grochery store. Doesn’t sound very exciting does it? Vanilla Ice Cream, that’s what Monica has become to me over the years. You see vanilla ice cream is fine, I mean who doesn’t like ice cream, it has all of the qualities there that should make it really good, hell it’s ice cream, and if you pair it with something like apple pie then it get’s better. Yet you would prefer something with Caramel running through it wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you prefer to listen to Mary J. Blidge? Doesn’t Monica sound better when you pair her with Brandy? Do you want to listen to another album of Monica’s where it’s all just FINE.If the answer is no, then you just go ahead and skip this album too.

Thanks to her first album and those songs I loved as a kid, Monica’s net worth is around the total of $15 Million US dollars. Tell me why she can’t buy a good song? The album is wonderfully produced, with all the production stars in today’s game that you know, or should, since they make all of today’s hits. Rico Love, Polow da Don,Salaam Remi, even damn Missy Elliott can’t save Monica from making 12 more filler tracks that you can easily live without. What’s the issue? Monica can sing her ass off, she is gorgeous as ever, the beats are decent, the production is good, yet the lyrics fail almost immediately being completely expected, or embarssing (“Log off your facebook it all belongs to me”). Most of the Album’s topics have been exhausted in pop music in the last ten years, even by Monica herself. If you are going to rehash topics of self empowerment, love, and growth you really have to have something bold to back it all up. What we needed was a drastic new sound that recreated Monica in a fresh new way, something with today’s sound vs. 1995. It feels like she keeps painstakingly trying to recreate her first few big hits, even going so far as to have another duet with Brandy, trying to force the magic to happen again. Those overalls, the mid 90′s, being 14 with two top 10 singles: Magic. Being 31 and not having a big hit since, 5 albums later? Time to call in the heavy hitters dear.. New Life? Next time you need a new sound.

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