Songstress and industry veteran, Ashanti is back with her first album since 2008's The Declaration. After the extended delay, the new album, Braveheart is almost surprisingly solid. Almost because it's easy to forget that Ashanti has a catalog full of hit songs and a history of putting out some pretty good music. While Declaration wasn't her best work and the single, "Good Good" left a slightly bad taste for fans and supporters, her return here is precise and well thought out. With a new team and a new label, Written Entertainment, in place, this fresh start is just what she needed to remind listeners of the quality of music she is capable of putting together.
G I R L by Pharrell is an enjoyable album. The second of his solo projects, there is an engaging assortment of songs within it that reinforce his creative ingenuity. There is a feeling however on the album that Pharrell sought to withdraw from the mainstream light - creating a lively experience that is not only centered on fun and games, but in his decision to do so, ended up serving up cuts that are relentlessly and definitively radio friendly.
Rick Ross remains one of the most fascinating rappers to listen to. A combination of grandiose loftiness with an inclination toward the finer things in life, intertwined with the grit of where he came from, Ross' lyrics always manage to stampede their way into the speakers. On Mastermind, Ross is perhaps his most rumbly and brazen if that's even possible. The flair of many of his previous albums is absent, the gloss is gone from the Ross so to speak; but that does not detract nor take away from the gems found within this collection.
Love, Marriage & Divorce is a seductive collection of 11 cuts that do not disappoint. Fans of both Babyface and Toni Braxton will be happy to find that the magic that united the duo on their R&B hit, “Give U My Heart,” from the movie, Boomerang in 1992, has only grown and become a sonic whirlwind force.
Beyoncé shocked the world when she released her visual album on December 13th. A collection of 14 tracks centered on themes of feminine empowerment, its flow is hypnotic, sultry and pulsates sounds that are enthusiastically warm and inviting.