Dawn Richard’s “Armor On” EP Reviewed By A.L. BURGOS

Album: Armor On (EP)
Artist: Dawn Richard
Release Date: March 27th 2012

So as you read this you might be saying, “Dawn Richard? Okay I know that name but who is she?!” Well let me clear that up for you before your brain starts to hurt.

Dawn Richard was simply known as “Dawn” when she was part of the girl group sensation “Danity Kane” and when she was 1/3 of Diddy’s group “Dirty Money”. Now since the disbandment of “Dirty Money” Dawn has left Bad Boy and has been releasing mixtapes. This album is a EP which is serving as an interlude to her actual album coming out later this year.

Dawn has been known for her R&B and Hip Hop and on this album it is R&B mixed with some robotic beats and vocals. Dont get me wrong she sounds amazing on this album but I feel she is using the auto tune and some robotic sounding shit that is not needed.

Dawn has grown musically on this EP from her old Danity Kane pop songs. Here she is singing about heart break and piece of shit men. On songs like “Bombs” and “Automatic” she is mad and she curses like a sailor. Now I love songs that have cursing in them and here, for her, it works cause I can feel her anger at the guy. So let the cursing flow!!

On “Black Lipstick” she is singing about a woman to a beat that seems so weird like it belongs on the Kanye West album “808 and Heartbreaks”. I am not saying that its not good because it actually is. Once again, it works for her and what she was going for on this EP. I dont know what she is talking about on this song I wont lie. Dawn sings, “She wears black lipstick on a renegade jacket.” I’m assuming this woman hurt her some how I dont know…”I must be color blind cause I’m bleeding black and gray”

On the song “Change,” the beat isnt as hard as the ones before it (its still some what hard) and she sings beautifully with a beautiful voice. “It aint change it aint still the same change, it aint change still the same, I still love you, like the angels do” The chorus is so beautiful. This song is a hit to me.

“Heaven” is a good song too. Here she goes back to the auto tune which can get so damn annoying!! LOL! The guy on the chorus is singing and he is sooooo auto tuned its not even funny -_-… The beat isnt anything special either, compared to the rest of the album.

My favorite song on this album is “Save me from you (Remix)” This song is so emotional. My hair on my arms stand up as she sings about a man that is not healthy for her and he tossed her heart in the flame. She needs to be saved from him and it feels dark and sad. I love this song. This is the stand out song on the album for me. No auto tune just a nice mellow beat and her amazing voice!!!!!

Overall this EP is a nice piece of work. It makes me so excited for the whole album later this year! I am just hoping that its not so much auto tune just the great fast dance beats and her amazing vocals.

4 Out of 5 stars. This EP is amazing!!!!!

Monica’s Album “New Life” BONUS TRACKS Reviewed By A.L. BURGOS!!!!!

So here is what I think of the bonus tracks on Monica’s new album “New Life”, due to be released Tuesday. There are 4 bonus tracks on the deluxe version and I know you wonder if it makes the album any better…And all I have to say is YES!!!…

The first bonus song is “Breathe”. At first listen I won’t lie it seems very dry and mediocre. After a couple of times of hearing it, I still won’t lie…it is dry and mediocre. The song is about separating from someone for a while to figure things out. I like the lyrics but they were written to a beat that is practically non existent. I don’t understand this beat at all, where the fuck is it?
“In 3D” starts off with a very familiar beat that you have heard before. Here she sings about a guy that she cares about so much but he can’t see what they can have. “Baby u dont see nothing u must be blind out ur mind up to something I see us so clearly it’s like 20/20 I see us In love like the people on TV I see us in 3D…I see us in 3D.. I see us together it look like forever I see us in love and don’t it look better in 3D” she sings in the chorus. Her voice in this song is so amazing and beautiful to me. I feel her pain as she sings about him! This song has made me cry the first time I listened to it and it is a great addition to the album!

“Catch Me” Monica sings with a mellow tone that makes your hair on your arm stand up! She wants to fall in love, but you have to catch her because she been through so much and she’s losing faith in it. Loving this man is so wrong for her but she can’t leave cause she wants to fall in love. The beat is so beautiful with her voice here. I love this song so much!

“Anything (To Find You)”, featuring Rick Ross was a hype single for the album! It was not a hit so it was scrapped and wasn’t an official single. I love the song. It is fun which the album needed. It’s not a club banger but the beat is a step up from the rest of the album. The song samples 1995 song “Who shot ya” by Notorious B.I.G and Diddy (which sampled the song “I’m Afraid the Masquerade Is Over” by David Porter). The song was suppose to feature Lil Kim but supposedly Biggie’s mom didn’t want Kim on the song so her part was scraped. Shame cause it was even better with her!

So as My closing statement I have to say that you should shell out some extra cash and get the Deluxe version! The bonus songs, minus “Breathe,” are worth the extra money I promise you. Overall, I still give the album 4 out of 5 stars!

Monica’s Album “New Life” Reviewed By A.L. BURGOS

Album: New Life
Artist: Monica
Release Date: April 10th 2012

The music industry has been on a downfall when it comes to R&B. All the greats from the early 90’s have disappeared and we been left with mediocre R&B artists. When an artist returns with an album we expect something amazing from them. Monica is about to release her new album “New Life” on Tuesday April 10th. All classic R&B fans and Monica fans are excited!

Monica was so well known in the 90’s. She released her first album “Miss Thang” in 1995 and it established her as a force to be reckoned with. Three years later, she released her second album “The Boy is mine” and it showed us that the little girl who first came out 3 years prior was all grown up. 2003 saw the release of her third album “After The Storm”. The album was critically acclaimed and spawned so many hits. Monica showed us she was here to stay. When you have so much success there comes a time when you fall and fail. “The Makings of me” was a album that failed to generate with audiences as well as her last album “Still Standing.” It seemed like her fans had given up on her. Now its two years later from her last album and “New Life” is about to hit the stores! Is it worth the buy? Here’s what I think:

With so many push backs her new album is finally almost here! The album comes in standard (12 songs) and deluxe (16 songs). The first official single off the album “It all belongs to me” features her old “The Boy is mine” partner Brandy. The song I feel is a continuation to “The boy is mine”. Instead of them fighting over the same man this time they are saying good bye to the scum bag who used them. “I know you’re mad/ Can’t take no more/ But put that back, that ain’t yours/ Have a fit, slam the door, But leave them bags on the floor/ That shit belongs to me/ Those clothes, those cars, those rings//
Yeah, that macbook, that shit belongs to me/ So log off your facebook/ It all belongs to me,” Monica and Brandy croon. Their voices have matured and they sing so beautifully together alternating verses and singing the chorus together.

“Daddy’s Good Girl” is an amazing song! Here she sings about a man loving her the way a man is suppose to. Monica sings, “Shopping sprees might make me smile for now but what about later?” As long as he is there then she will be “Daddy’s Good Girl” and she wont run the streets. Just tell her you love her and she will hold you down. I bet all you ladies felt like this before.

There is that old saying “What do you give someone who has everything?” Well Monica tackles that question in her song “Man Who Has Everything”. Monica came up with the answer and it is a simple one: LOVE…Her man has everything that money can buy but all he really needs is love from her… “You deserve to love someone who’s gonna love you back…cause even a man who has everything still needs something money cant buy.” This song is pure R&B from the beat to her voice. Love this song!

“Big Mistake” is a song that’ll hit home for everyone and I know it. The beat is so mellow and sweet, and her voice glides through the song with ease. She talks about a man that took up so much of her life for nothing. He was just scum and she wasted her time. “Make no mistake… you wont be my mistake no more” she tells him. This song will make people think about someone that they once loved and then realized that it was a huge mistake. I know I did! I needed this song!

“Take a chance” features Wale and it is a nice song. Nothing special but it does its job with pleasuring your ears. You know when you talk to someone new that they did things in their past and may have broke some hearts, but you want to take a chance and see what happens because it may be different with you. Wale is a great addition to the song. They actually work nice together.

The next few songs are all ballads and some of them work “Without you” and “Amazing”. They are both such beautiful songs that are sung with such passion that it hits your heart and makes you feel so warm inside! “Until its gone” is a great song about losing someone and not knowing they were great until they are gone. The last two songs on the album throw me off track. “Cry” and “Time to move on” feel so out of place and weird to me. “Cry” makes me want to cry and not in a good way, Lol! It just hurts me to listen to it! Like stop singing this song pleaseeeee!!!!! “Time to move on” is a okay song but the whole choir in the chorus throws me off and some what pisses me off. I just dont get it.

So as I listen to the album I feel that this is a great cohesive R&B album with great beats, great vocals, and great lyrics. It could have had a better ending to the album but I cant complain cause its only two songs I dont like here. So overall Monica is back and has returned to her roots of great R&B music! MAYBE R&B ISN’T DYING AFTER ALL!!!

4 out of 5 stars (PS this is my review for the standard edition not the deluxe so I dont know how the extra 4 songs are. I will update this once I hear the other songs)