Album Review: Monica’s “New Life”

“New Life,” Monica’s seventh studio and debut album with new record label RCA arrives in stores today on April 10, 2012. Following the disbandment of her former label, J Records in 2011, the songstress is back in the spotlight with a new production, which was handled by music producers Bryan-Michael Cox, Jermaine Dupri, Missy Elliott, Lamb, Rico Love, Polow da Don, and Salaam Remi, among others.

It All Belongs to Me,” one of the album’s singles and a duet with singer Brandy, was released earlier this year. It was the first collaboration between the R&B divas since they worked together on their 1998 smash hit “The Boy Is Mine.” The track, a mid-tempo R&B ballad, is a female empowerment anthem in which both singers claim their independence and courage as they leave the no good men in their lives.

In the four minutes and six seconds ballad, Brandy sings, “No, no, no, sugar/You must be blind/You must be dumb/You must be tripping/You must be crazy/To think I’m gonna let you off that easy.” Then Monica follows Brandy in the chorus and they both sing along by saying,”But put that back/That ain’t yours/Have a fit/Slam the door/But leave them bags/On the floor/That s— belongs to me/Those clothes, cars, those rings/And that MacBook/That s— belongs to me/So log off your Facebook, it all belongs to me.

The 12 tracks project offer hard-loving ballads, smooth and snappy sounds, accentuated with pain and joy. On the “New Life” phone call intro, (featuring Mary J. Blige) Monica sings, “Gotta pack up my yesterdays,”but the new record shows a singer ready to embark for an encore of pure R&B. “Time to Move On,” an old-school vibe emphasizes on Monica’s astonishing voice and musical maturity. “Take a Chance,” a self-help ballad is about starting over. As for “Cry,” the tearing ballad is bringing emotion in the hearts of those seeking a new beginning.

With “New Life,” Monica will show to the world that she will always be here musically, despite the heartbreak and the pain. Indeed the songstress is back once again with beats that not only draw its strength from the old R&B era of the 90’s but also add a new modern twist influenced by today’s pop music.

Purchase: New Life – Monica

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