Monday, November 26, 2012

CD Review: Lotus & R.E.D.

On the 25th of November, I received a package from US containing the CDs of my two of my favorite artists: Christina Aguilera's Lotus and Ne-Yo's R.E.D. I have a self-imposed policy that I will buy original CDs/music of my favorite artists which also includes Usher, John Legend, Musiq Soulchild, Madonna, Adele and Rihanna. Initially, my plan was to buy music from iTunes but download isn't available here in UAE yet so I was kind of frustrated that day so I immediately ordered in Amazon. 

Lotus is Christina's 7th studio album and was released last 13th of November. In this album, the curly voice was lessened and it has now a feeling of electro-pop music. I'm not really sure but I think Christina made it safe with her music and only conformed to what's the latest tunes. Her voice on this album is as always undeniably good and I haven't heard Christina this joyful and energetic in the past few years after the roller coaster of events happened in her personal life. Overall, the album isn't bad at all and the old 'Xtina' feeling is still in this CD. My favorite track from the album is 'Just a Fool', a duet with country star Blake Shelton. The self-empowering track 'Let There Be Love' is a trendy and catchy song and a possible hit for her. The song 'Blank Page' is an emotional song and showed the power of her pipes in doing ballad songs. Unfortunately, the CD didn't sell that much and debuted only at #7 on the Billboard 200. The sale was lower compared to her previous album Bionic. I think the reason is that there is no strong single and there is no much marketing done and lack of edgy promotional strategies.

R.E.D. (acronym for Realizing Every Dream), Ne-Yo's fifth studio album was released on the 6th of November. The album comprises collaboration with Wiz Khalifa, Diddy, Fabolous and even country music icon Tim McGraw. The album entered #4 in the Billboard 200 but the first week sales was 46,000 lesser compared to previous album, Libra Scale. Nevertheless, it debuted on the top of R&B/Hip-Hop albums. I'm kind of missing more energetic songs from this album. But the flavor of genuine R&B is intact. The track 'Let Me Love You (Until You Learned to Love Yourself)', in my opinion is the best song in this album but those soul songs were quite of equally magnificent showcasing his signature music with full of emotions about love and loss. Being an in-demand songwriter, he didn't fail to provide good and quality lyrics to each of the songs and as a hit maker himself, the smooth R&B is all over the place. My favorite track is 'Miss Right' with words "… spend forever looking, all the time wasting. Soon as I throw my hands up and I say quit, turn the corner and there my future sits." Well this new album didn't fail me to fall in love all over again into R&B music.


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