In The Mix
Usher Raymond’s latest attempt at acting created no impact at the box office. The soundtrack also lacks a turnout. Besides his feature with newcomer Rico Love, Usher’s absence from this movie-inspired compilation damages. Packed with lackluster songs by Chris Brown, Christina Millian, Keri Hilson, One Chance and Youngbloodz, one won’t be missing much by passing on this soundtrack. Anthony Hamilton’s “Some Kind of Wonderful” is the only shining moment here.
Chris Brown, at 16-years-old, has a lot to say about love and relationships, infatuation and commitments. On this, his self-titled debut, the teenage R&B vocalist mixes fun and fineness through youthful yearnings. Current single “Run It” has generated much play for Brown, but one may find enjoyment in such offering as “Yo (Excuse Me Miss),” “Is This Love” and “Ya Man Aint Me.” Brown’s squeaky voice can become too much, making one want to limit listens. Overall this is a solid entry.
Back II Basics
Basically on this, Ginuwine took several steps back. His attempt at youthful dance and hip-hop-flavored numbers sent the singer in reverse. As heard on his largely successful previous four albums, Ginuwine targeted adults with sultry ballads, intricate relationship and loving making tales. Here he teams with rappers Jadakiss (“The Club”) and Knight (“Intro”) to amp a party that has already run its course. Even the heat of “When We Make Love” is more typical than tropical.
Songstress and Floacist, the duo known as Floetry, are a unique musical combination. Combining R&B and Soul music with hip-hop, poetry and spoken word, the pair’s daring to be different already yielded one hit album, 2002’s Floetic. Now back with this, their much-anticipated second full-length release, the ladies do much of the same with plenty more added. The topics here are more mature than the previous album. Picnics in the park turned to candle light dinners, tender hugs are now loving, longing embraces. Production by Darren Henson, Whitey and Jared, and even Scott Storch fits their style perfectly. Check out “I’ll Die,” “Sometimes U Make Me Smile” and “Blessed 2 Have.”