Musiq's comeback fails to surprise
With his first album in over three years, Musiq Soulchild is back with Luvanmusiq. As if it would make him a better artist, Music made a few changes, like adding "soulchild" to his name and transferring from Def Jam Soul to Atlantic records, but no changes were grand enough to improve his music. His storytelling lyrics and laid-back beats in "Luvanmusiq" maintain the one-dimensional theme of love he is known for, but if that's up your alley, then please, read on.
The first track and single off the album "B.U.D.D.Y," sampled from Taana Gardner's 1981 dance hit "Heartbeat," is by far the best for radio, but most misleading song. The mid-tempo beat, bumping bass line, and overall hip-hop feel to the club-banger are different, but not necessarily in a bad way, from Musiq's usual slow jams. The track's appeal has led to 7 remixes, featuring Ja Rule, T.I., Fat Joe, and the list goes on. Musiq's own rapping on the track about how "it would be fly" to have a "B-U-D-D-Y," (a friend with benefits,) take this song even more off course from his norm.
Musiq's trade-mark style of disregarding punctuation rules and running words together presents itself in the titles of most of the other tracks on the album, including "makeyouhappy," "takeyouthere" and "betterman." In addition to sharing Musiq's song naming method, the tracks all display the slow tempo, soft vocal style Musiq has portrayed since his older ablums, "Juslisen" and "Soulstar."
If it wasn't for Musiq's phenomenal song writing skills, his lack of diversity would impair the appeal of the album. In "Ms.Philadelphia," the second track on the album, Musiq references his hometown and weaves a narrative tale of falling in love with a girl he meets. His ability to tell an honest, genuine story through each song is the only thing that makes Luvanmusiq worth listening to.
The second single off the album, "teachme," is a refreshing change from contemporary hip-hop's attitude towards women. On this track, Musiq's sincerity shines through over a slow beat when he asks his girl, "teach me how to love/ show me the way to surrender my heart."
Although every song but the first track has the same neo-soul style, Musiq brings a little bit of the hip-hop feel from "B.U.D.D.Y" into a song found in the middle of the album "Ridiculous." The head-bopping melody paired with Musiq's catchy vocals make this track stand out from the rest of the album, and adds some much-needed variety.
Toward the end of the album, "Lullaby," is a track highly reminiscent of Musiq's past single "Whoknows." the lyrics paired with an entrancing melody makes this another typical Musiq hit. He brings back his "sincerity" when crooning, "all I wanna do/ is spend the night with you/ and put your mind at ease/ just like a lullaby."
If you are new to Musiq, and "B.U.D.D.Y" is the first single you have heard from him, you may not be impressed with his old school slow jam style on Luvanmusiq; if you have been with Musiq since the start, his subtle romantic charm may cast its spell on you once again.
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