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Voice strong, album weak

“New Life” Monica

After the success of her last album, 2010’s “Still Standing,” Grammy-winner Monica returns with a soulful yet less-than-impressive collection of R&B tracks.

The album’s first single, “It All Belongs To Me,” has deservedly attracted the most attention of all the songs on the album. Possibly the most talked about musical reunion of the year, it features Monica and Brandy with another powerful duet, 14 years since their 1998 classic “The Boy Is Mine.” This one is an anthem for the ladies, all about giving the boot to a no-good man.

Showing off her vocal range on “Without You,” Monica reminds us why she’s still relevant. Vocally, Monica has never disappointed: Her voice is powerful and pure. But the album sounds uneven and underwhelming, perhaps due to the large number of producers.

– Bianca Roach, Associated Press

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