Album Review: Monica, Still Standing


Still Standing (released March 23, 2010)

So, did y’all watch Monica’s reality show “Still Standing” on BET? The only reality TV I submit to these days is the Bad Girls Club and occasional episodes of Cheaters.

What can I say? I like to watch people fight.

Since the only time I watch BET is when I’m forced to endure 106 & Park while in the barbershop, I didn’t get to see much of Monica’s show – except for one episode.

Monica was sitting around with Timbaland and a bunch of other knuckleheads discussing what black folks always talk about – black women “knowing their place” or something. Monica, clearly as bored as I was, decided to sing a song that she hoped to be her first single. That song was “Everything to Me” and it blew me away. There was a discussion about the track not being radio friendly but I didn’t stick around to hear how things went – I turned back to Family Guy.

What? The commercial break was over.

Still, after hearing “Everything to Me,” I got pretty excited about Monica’s newest offering. She’s quietly dropped solid, consistent albums since 1995’s Miss Thang. Still Standing proves to be yet another solid outing, but after listening to its 10 tracks, I still felt a bit unfulfilled.

The album certainly has its share of triumphs. “Everything to Me,” co-written, among others, by Missy Elliott and Jazmine Sullivan (both of whom need new albums of their own ASAP) reminds us that Monica can SANG. Her vocals, assisted with buckets of emotion and a sample of Deniece Williams’ classic 80s cut “Silly,” give me flashbacks to the early 90s. You know, when they actually sang on songs. “Love All Over Me,” produced by her boy Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, gives me similar chills. Those high notes and hi hats get ME high – in a musical sense, that is. Crack is wack.

But as much as I wanna love this album, nothing else here gets me as excited as the two previously mentioned tracks. The remaining songs are certainly above average, but sadly are just run-of-the mill R&B songs. “Stay or Go” and “Mirror” are decent but Keyshia Cole, LeToya Luckett, Ciara and the rest could churn out the same songs with similar results. They lack the robust harmonies and emotions Moncia brings to the songs I mentioned earlier. This especially goes for “Superman” – you can tell from the title that it’s chock-full of played out superhero metaphors. You’ll be hitting the ‘skip’ button faster than a speeding bullet.

See, I can do it too. And it’s just as lame.

Still Standing proves that Monica still has plenty of gas in her tank. Next time I hope she spends more time taking us to new places, instead of revisiting the same ol’ stops.

And hopefully she won’t have to put out another reality show to remind us she’s still around.

Best tracks: “All Over Me,” “Everything to Me,” “Stay or Go”

3.5 stars out of 5


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