Mya’s Musical Return Is Neither Notable Nor Enjoyable
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Subtlety is key. Subtlety is also something Mya's K.I.S.S (Keep It Sexy & Simple … yes, seriously) does not have. To start with, the absurdity of the album title is almost unbelievable. If female empowerment is what she's going for, that title negates all efforts. The entirety of the album is almost too blatantly about female empowerment while trying to stick "it" to some anonymous man (though after listening to the whole album, I'm still not sure exactly what "it" is). While there is no doubt that this one-dimensional girl power music has a target audience that will probably enjoy this album for all its shallow glory, it doesn't do much for the average person with good taste. Each song is about a different aspect of a romantic relationship, hitting on all the highs and all the lows. There is certainly a time and place for this type of music, but Mya doesn't even deliver amidst the lackluster genre populated by the Ke$has and the Katy Perrys.
While lyrics can occasionally be disregarded for a good dance song, the lyrics in the song "Someone Come Get This B—h" are completely laughable, to the point that they stand out too blatantly to be ignored, despite being paired with dance beats—which are boring too. "Rear View Mirror," the second track on the album, features Sean Paul and is the only song with the potential (key word) for redemption. And by that I mean it has the potential to become one of those screaming anthems for girls who have just been dumped, in which newly single Mya, with "not a care in the world," states over and over, "I'm not looking back" (get it?!).
The apex of irritation on the album culminates in the track "Fabulous Life," where Mya discusses her "fabulous life," all the beautiful people in it, how the stars are aligned in her favor, and how she lives by "Livin', Dancin' / Lights, Camera, Action." Probably to no one's surprise, once the song ended, I wasn't envious of this life. Her voice is so auto-tuned on this track, as on most others, that she is almost unrecognizable, and could basically be any girl singing about vapid things. "Love Me Some You," featuring former Immature frontman Marques Houston, is honestly not even worth mentioning. If you're going to collaborate, do it with someone who listeners don't assume had given up years ago.
Things slow down a bit on the track "Love Comes, Love Goes," again exemplifying Mya's groundbreaking wisdom. Despite the fact that her voice is clearly altered in this song, it does offer some relief from the in-your-face girly dance songs with only her voice and a piano (or so it sounds). Mya proudly proclaims on the deeply titled track "Evolve" that she will "evolve," and that this man in question should "watch [her] evolve / Through the heartache and pain." The track "Mess Up My Hair" offers a playful and flirtatious side of the singer, in which she states over and over that she will "Let her hair down" and that her man can "Mess her hair up." This album features a lot of repetition: Mya keeps telling the listener what she is going to do, which is usually either implicitly or explicitly stated in the title. Lyricism is not the strong point of this R&B album.
Mya for some reason deemed it appropriate to preach about her love philosophy and air her grievances to the listener at the start of a few songs, which would usually not be something to complain about, but again, also proves to be laughable. In "Fugitive of Love," Mya states in a breathy voice, "I've been running and hiding for so long / Could it be that I'm scared to give in to something so strong?" In "Problem & Solution," she hits us with the novel idea that "It's crazy how the things that bring the most pleasure / Cause the most pain." Thank you, Mya. This tactic of speaking before a song can be done well in small doses, and if the words are natural and/or meaningful, but featured on more than three tracks on the album, it's not only a bit overdone, but also boring. If you want a good, romantically relevant album that doubles as a post break-up listen, go listen to Adele's 21, which you probably already do. So really, just keep doing what you're doing.