Wednesday, May 28, 2008
ALBUM REVIEW: Ashanti "The Declaration"
The Queen of Midtempos gives us just that on this new effort. I must say it starts off slow with mediocre melodies and substandard lyrics. For a lyricist of her caliber, it did not hit the spot in the early stages. It opens with first single "The Way That I Love You" which is a grower at the very least but what it lacks in single worthiness it more than compensates in visuals. It is arguably, video of the year (2008) so far.
The lyrical theme seems to be about heartbreak and trying to get her man back. "So Over You" goes through the same ole, 'I gave you everything and you were bad to me so I'm over you' vibe, but not even in a clever enough way to make us forget it's just the same ole. However the highlights come in the middle of the album with songs like "Girlfriend" about wanting to be with a guy, which gives a sensual vibe; to "In These Streets" which is classic round a way Ashanti. This is the most relatable lyrically for me and possibly the best song on the LP. It talks about how there is really nothing out there to leave your man for....kind of a 'the grass isn't always greener' effect. And the beat....knocks hard; "Things You Make Me Do" with Robin is a banger too. "Body On Me" is a clear single, as Akon joins in with his usual ranting and oohhing.
In all I think Ashanti made a solid effort but I think she can do better. She's the same ole Shani with no evolution and only hints of classic Ashanti. I'm not sure it will be enough to give her the "princess" crown back. If she were to go back in the lab and redo the first half of the album, she could be looking at a classic LP. Since that is just wishful thinking and we have to take "The Declaration" for what it is.......she gets a "B" on the strength of the last half of the album.