Just after writing an article about Akon’s new music for my own website, I actually ran into my favorite (reasonably) new “Akon track”. Officially it’s a new track by “Miss Thang” Monica taken from her forthcoming album, “Code Red”, due for release December 18th 2015.
“Hustler’s Ambition” is a full blown duet between her and Akon and it’s a beautiful track, that was uploaded to Monica’s YouTube channel in November.
As usual, Monica surprises and impresses. It’s happened to me a few times. In my head, she’s not as big in fame compared to the days of her breakthrough and her duet with Brandy, so I tend to underestimate her, but Monica is not one to underestimate at all.
Vocally, it’s kind of senseless to say she’s matured. I think her breakthrough happened when she was 14 or so. Nowadays, she’s a mother herself and her music had very much matured over the years. According to reports, this wasn’t intentional nor even desired by her.
I think this has mainly to do with her full round vocals. It’s got a soul to it that just gets magical on beautiful ballads with true storytelling. The thing a young audience doesn’t have the patience for. However, it doesn’t mean, her voice wouldn’t work on up-tempo club tracks. It’s just not, what I’ve heard from her for a while.
“Code Red” is still a mix of her famous soulish ballads, but it´s mixed well with mid- and up-tempo tracks that have a crossover appeal, without selling out. Exactly the way she’d set out to do.
The title track itself, introduced by Monica’s daughter and Missy Elliot, brings Elliot’s immaculate sense for trending youthful music styles to Monica’s mature vocal sound. It works ingeniously. The two-step influence is enough to get everybody bouncing to it, whether they want to or not. I think it’s very rightfully carrying the title of the album.
The lead single for the album was “Just Right For Me” featuring Lil Wayne. The track was released in June 2015 and has got surprising tempo switches, but they still flow naturally. I think it represents the two-sided album really well.
So far, I’ve only heard the tracks that have been uploaded to YouTube (there are two more), but this definitely gives me the feeling that “Code Red” is my kind of R&B. Nice! Can’t wait.