Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Monica on Leno and Readying New Single

Everything to Me
[Live on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno]

This performance was awesome to me. Though the key was lowered, Monica's vocals were great and her poise echoed 90s R&B stars such as Anita Baker and Toni Braxton. I love it.
[Don't knock the key change. Celine and Whitney did it often]

I have criminally neglected posting anything about Monica's newest album Still Standing. With releases from Sade, Usher, and Erykah Badu in heavy rotation, it strangely feels like the 90s again. Monica's new album gives that feel by showing her going back to her roots. While most artists struggle to stay current and rely on whatever producer or sound is hot at the moment, Monica has taken it back to real R&B. The Deniece Williams sampled Everything to Me was an instant homerun for me upon first listen. Armed with a newer refined look and sticking to what she does best, real singing, Monica is playing her cards right this time around. She got lost for a minute with urban trends leaning toward hip-hop but with the exception of a couple of tracks on this album, Monica stayed true to R&B and the result is a great album.

She's readying a new single. One of my favorite songs from the album, the Polow Da Don produced Here I Am, will apparently serve as the follow up to Everything to Me. As stated on the Grammy winner's twitter account, Jamie Foxx will be joining her for a reworked version for radio.

With Monica's recent success, I could only think of Brandy. Brandy's recent efforts have received lukewarm results. I always preferred Monica's singing and over Brandy's. Monica just seemed to become stagnant when it came to the commercial aspect. While Brandy gained lucrative acting spots, endorsements, etc., Monica seemed a bit pigeon holed in her very urban style. Anyway, Brandy & Ray J recently gave Monica some much deserved congratulations and expressed their being "inspired" by the singer's success.

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