Album Track Listing
Release Date: 27 June 2003
Reviewed By: Melisa Tang
3. So Gone
4. U Should've known Better
5. Don't Gotta Go home (feat. DMX)
6. Knock Knock
9. Ain't Gonna Cry No More
10. Go To Bed Mad (feat. Tyrese)
11. Hurts The Most
12. That's My Man
1. Too Hood (feat. Jermaine Dupri)
2. Down For Whatever
3. What Part Of The Game (feat. Mia X)
Monica - After The Storm
Shes been away from the music scene for a while, but now Miss Thang is signed to the infamous J Records, home to the likes of Alicia Keys and Mario. Monicas latest album, After The Storm, is a reflection of the personal growth that the 22-year-old has experienced since her last release in 1998, the triple platinum The Boy Is Mine, which spourned the hits First Night, Angel Of Mine and the title track, The Boy Is Mine, the Grammy-winning duet with Brandy.
As some RnB fans may recall, Monicas third LP was in fact, released back in November 2002, and was originally called All Eyes On Me. However, as Monica was not completely happy with all the material, she decided to go back into the studio and record some new tracks, changing the project name from All Eyes On Me to Im Back, before settling with After The Storm.
Her new album features beats from some of the hottest producers around, like Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, Jazzy Pha, and her close friend Missy Elliot, who also appears as executive producer. The first track to be released from this double CD is the single So Gone, written and produced by Missy. The song tells of a cheating boyfriend, and in the video, we see the RnB singer break into her mans apartment and tear the place apart in anger. The explosive So Gone Remix is also included as a hidden track, which features Busta Rhymes. On this single, Monica tries her hand at emceeing, and does a pretty decent job with it, as well as on Get It Off and Knock Knock, both of which are Missy creations. Get It Off samples bits from Strafes Set It Off, a beat which was most recently used on Jennifer Lopezs Feelin So Good. Yet, Monica manages to add a fresh twist to the track, making it sound like a new party joint. Her vocals on Knock Knock, a cut co-produced by Kanye West, are exceptional, as they are on virtually the whole album.
Beautiful ballads, such as Breaks My Heart and Dont Gotta Go Home featuring DMX, are further examples of Monicas maturing voice, and a sweet slow jam, Go To Bed Mad, is the result of the collaboration with labelmate Tyrese.
Another standout track on the album is I Wrote This Song, and from the lyrics, sounds like a dedication to her ex-boyfriend Jarvis Knots, whose tragic suicide was witnessed by the songstress. The depth of this track is astounding, with Monica pouring out her heart on lines like: I love my baby so, but hes not here no more so I wrote this melody, and Im saying sweet goodbye.
The second CD doubles up as a CD-Rom with the video for So Gone, and contains four previously unreleased tracks, including the sexy Searchin, and the upbeat Too Hood featuring Jermaine Dupri.
After The Storm displays Monica at her best, and is her most personal work to date. With this album, she has proven her staying power, and shown that even after five years away from the business, she can still come back with an album so good, its a masterpiece.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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