First Impressions: There Is 'Something' Missing From Faith Evans' Latest

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Imagine this review is not two weeks late....Faith Evans has had a fan in me since her debut Faith dropped back in 1995...so we've had some time together. Which is why I felt my excitement chip away with each passing release from Something About Faith, the singer's fifth album in over six years. It is true that I liked the Raekwon  assisted "Everyday Struggle" and "The Way You Move", but by the time "Already Gone" with its "mime manifesto" was released, the oddly shopped album cover, and then glancing at some mixed early album reviews, I was sort of getting worried. I felt these feelings because I put 2005's The First Lady on a towering pedestal, and because I feel that Faith Evans contracted the same sort of symptoms that Mary J. Blige and other 90's R&B chanteuses contracted that give the diagnosis of  "radio conformity". All of this is premature, so of course I listened with open ears...

 Something About Faith sets out to be a pure R&B album that feels like a hybrid of what Faith did on her debut and on 2001's Faithfully. There aren't any Euro-dance injections. Faith isn't trying to slip into Beyonce's Freakum Dress. No experimental Soul alternative android-ness this side of Monae and Bosco. It's an R&B album that feels like old times, yet something feels a little off about it. It's not bad, but it's not thoroughly good either. Maybe my love for The First Lady runs deep, but Something lacks a certain spark and spunk. 

Amid some rubble, there are some moments that make the album not a true downer. The perfect "Way You Move" with Snoop disperses into "Real Things", a lush profession of what Faith wants in a relationship. Feeling straight out of the 90's, this song has a real familliar feel. "Worth It" is also another track that bounces lightly on a clopping percussion beat and sounds like it came from The First Lady cutting room floor.

Worth It


"Party" with Redman is punchy and catchy, but it's safe at best. Most are complaining about the lack of "baby makers" Faith has included on here, yet the dream coast of the steamy "Right Here" sort of overshadows the other attempts like bonus track, "Baby Lay. "Your Lover" takes a cue from the Samba side of the street, yet the fake audience interjection sort of kills the mood a tad. The real winner is the Mike City produced "Sunshine". It bubbles with hypnotic House rhythms, and Faith sounds more like she got a whiff of some smelling salts, as she sounds much more vibrant on this.

Sunshine


Personally, Faith sounds almost bored with the material on Something. Albeit she doesn't have the most varying voice, but there isn't much energy spewing out of this even on songs like "Party", which bounces nicely with Redman in tow, but like most of the songs here it somehow gets repetitive and drags after the seconds elapse. Even the appearances of Keyshia Cole and Kelly Price (one of the most underrated voices in R&B) are used as mere afterthoughts on this. Also this album tends to get stuck into a groove where most of the songs blend together, some not differentiating from the others, which proves that the tracklisting also needed a serious trim down.

While I wish I could be enthusiastic over this record, it's just a bit disappointing for me. Though it has grown on me in a couple of listening days, considering it's not all bad, just that it was uninspired and almost seemed thrown together. Luckily, like Monica and Toni Braxton's recent releases have shown, Faith didn't fall into the trap of trying to sound overly radio friendly. Unlike some of her contemporaries, Faith does keep in mind where her sound came from, yet on Something About Faith it sadly isn't embellished, just stagnant. 

Rating: 7.3/10
Release Date: October 5, 2010

3 comments:

  1. Agree 100% with this review

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think Something About Faith is a solid R&B album. Not great,but good.

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  3. i agree as well. i love Faith, but this is not the instant classic that all of her previous records have been to me. i still like it, though.

    ReplyDelete

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