|Monica: Code Red|
And this is Tale of the Tape:
Track 1: Code Red - Featuring Missy Eillot and Laiyah (her daughter): The title track kicks off the album and starts off with Monica in the booth with her daughter and having her do some adlibs, A throwback beat on the production, produced Polow the Don, Missy animated as always "does what I does, do what I do,Your hustle the same to me, here's something new" Monica and friends pointing out the state of music in the land of R&B. Very uptempo, not unusual for Monica to venture into this realm. Reminiscent of the vibe of her 2006 album "The Makings Of Me" album and song "Everytime the beat Drops" and little bit shy of " Set it off" from 2003 album "After The Storm" Not a bad way to start off and album, fun light hearted, but at the same time letting us know it no more fun and games, it time to get to work.
Track 2: Just Right for Me feat Lil Wayne: One thing about Monica her strong suit in recent years is when she sings over flipped classic soul samples. And this what she doing here on this track and she has done this in the past. I could have done with out Weezy vocals in the beginning, I like Wayne and all, I just don't see the point of him on it. Classic Monica, no matter the production that behind her, she is going to sing from top to bottom and give her all.
Track 3: Love Just Ain't Enough feat Timbaland: I love Timbaland, I like his adlibs when necessary, but on this track I could do without his singing in the beginning. I feel like this track should be Timbaland feat. Monica or call it a duet between the two. Enjoyable when Monica comes in and actually sings. Great production, textbook Tim as he calls himself, the background and layering of the vocals is good. I don't get enough Monica on this track and it feels like a interlude and not a full song.
Replay: Low to Moderate:
Track 4: Call My Name: Back to Monica singing from top to bottom, say her name quit playing the games and claim the one your with it message of this song. True Monica on this track giving you her best. I like the lyrics, however the production is a bit congested, not quite a ballad, not quite mid tempo, gives a back and forth of the two.
Track 5: I know: It nice when a singer with a nice voice knows when to sing a ballad, and on "I Know" is a ballad indeed with a nice tempo. But none the less Monica is singing and showcasing her big voice and one thing that we don't get enough of in R&B is the ballad. On every Monica song, she will give us a ballad to listen to and she does not disappoints on this one right here.
Track 6: All Men Lie feat Timbaland: Timbaland is the star of the show on this one again as the producer of the this track. Monica comes in like she is the one being featured, and once again this feels like a interlude. The statement is bold, the back is forth between Monica and Tim is cool. But I like him on the boards and wanted just little bit more of Monica vocals on the track.
Track 7: Deep: An Ode to Shannon Brown her husband, Monica has been listening to some trap music, based on how she rides the production singing with a flow. This is one her better tracks I am digging on the album, another Polow the Don production, I know they worked together in the past, however they work well together on this song and project
Track 8: Hustler Ambition Feat Akon - Akon kicks off the song over this acoustic guitar track, story of man who has the grind of a hustler, but promises his lady he will return home in the morning. Akon sounds good on this song, Akon and Monica voices blend well together. I never was much of an Akon fan and was like eh before hearing the song, however he carries his weight on this song. Monica once again is at her best when the tempo is slowed down, you get chance to hear the pureness of her voice, her tone and clarity.
Track 9: Alone in your heart: This is the type the song that will make you screw up your face and nod your head, this is my favorite song right here. I loved "A Dozen Rose (You Remind Me)" from Makings of Me and this is like Part II and I am not mad at that. My type of Monica song right here with big production behind her and she goes off on this song, this should have kicked off the album. The chorus will have you singing it over and over again "You ain't doing, doing nobody else's" I am glad is the second single.
Track 10: Suga: Throw back vibe with an ode to late singer Tina Marie and a play on her song "Behind The Groove" in the beginning of the song. Elements of eighties R&B dance music with blends of a hard groove in the middle. It works for Monica, scaled back on her vocals, summer time vibe to it, levels off the album.
Track 11: Ocean Of Tears: At this point if going after radio and billboard was the goal, this tune would have done the trick. This is a very poppy song I must say, out of all the songs so far, this would have done well on the charts if it was the intention of Monica and the label. In her twenty year history this is one her strikingly catchy songs. A nice sing a along feel as well to this song, if you are into having day parties this would be a good song to play.
Track 12: Saints & Sinners - A song of reflection, at the end of day Monica was born and raised in the church. It is only right that she go back to her roots of singing gospel music, one day and many of us would love to hear a full gospel album from Monica. One song at a time until that happens, gospel and ballads will always work in her favor and this song does not fall shy of that. You can't go wrong with wanting the lord's grace
Reply: Moderate to High
Track 13: I Miss Music: Monica grew up in the same time period I did and her career also kicked off during that era as well. Another acoustic track Monica reflects on how music and artists was back in the day and one of the reason she named this album code red. "What am I going to sing to" is part of the chorus, something I ask as well myself. It is good to know that artist still do care about this wonderful art called music; Kinda of folky vibe but it works.
Track 14 Anchor: The last song on the album and another ballad to close out the album, fitting title for it, Monica knows her strengths. This song kinda has the same mood of her song "For you I will" The theme is that through thick and then she will be by your side. Nice way to end the album, mellow tune to finish out this collection of songs
Tale Of The Tape
- Overall Rating - Solid
- Stream or Get Physical - Get the CD
- Key Tracks - Alone in your heart, Deep, Just right for Me, Ocean Of Tears, I know
- Worth The Replay: High replay with minimal skips
- Sequencing: Track 9 Should have number one, Track 10 should have been in the center of the album