OnMyRadio (released December 9, 2008)
When it comes to Musiq's albums, there are two things you can count on - ballads and poor spelling. Remember his first album, 2001's Aijuswanaseing? It took me weeks to figure out what that meant.
Anyway, while it's no surprise that Musiq still doesn't know how to use a space bar, it was a shock when he released the first single from OnMyRadio, simply known as "Radio." The squealing, rattling beat and dumbed down lyrics sound like it was meant for someone like J-Kwon. Is he still alive?
What happened to the Musiq we knew? Has he totally sold his soul in an attempt to be embraced by radio executives? Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be the case.
OnMyRadio, although bookended by "Radio" and the equally annoying "Backagain", is pretty much your typical Musiq album, for better or worse. The second single, "IfUleave", with Mary J. Blige, is the kind of ballad Musiq is known for - forceful, but not overbearing. Musiq's vocals mesh extremely well with Mary J's, making this an easy standout.
While "IfUleave" leaves an impression, the rest of the album is standard fare. "Until" and "Dearjohn" are OK slow jams, but the lyrics are kinda jarring, like when he promises to love his woman until "2000 and forever" on "Until." Uh huh. A few tracks, like "Deserveumore" and "Someone" fare better, especially when he rocks the Robin Thicke falsetto on "Sobeautiful", but Musiq already has like 15 other songs that sound exactly like them.
If Musiq wanted to broaden his appeal he should have ditched the lowbrow club songs in favor of more tracks like the reggae-tinged "Iwannabe." It's far from perfect, but it's a welcome departure from Musiq's usual repertoire and a lot easier on the ears than "Radio."
Even with a couple missteps, OnMyRadio is far from awful. But if you're planning to compile a Musiq Soulchild's Greatest Hits mixtape you won't find much material here. When Musiq stays in his comfort zone he does a solid, albeit unspectacular, job - poor spelling and all.
Best tracks: "IfUleave", "Sobeautiful", "Someone"
3.5 stars out of 5