Release Date: 06.15.04
Record label: Record Collection
Hurry Up and Wait
by: kristen kolada
You're a little sore from dippin' it low all summer long, thanks to the recent hit single from Christina Milian. Maybe you're looking for a new dance move, or just want to cool down a bit. You pick up her debut release and ask yourself: is it? Is it about time? Does the rest of this album have what you need? The answer is yes, sort of. When the beats are going strong, she shines with a smooth voice and catchy rhythms. The slower ballads don't bring anything new to the R&B scene, but there are enough good moments on this album to make it a decent US debut (Milian released an album in the UK in 2001).
Milian, who has been acting in film and television since she was 13 and has co-written songs such as the Jennifer Lopez hit "Play," co-wrote 6 of the 11 tracks and served as co-executive producer on It's About Time - all impressive feats, considering she is only 22 years old. Her potential to pen great R&B hits shines strongest on the pumping "Peanut Butter and Jelly," which brings new meaning to the food with lines like "Stickin to me so sweet on you." But what makes this song work is the club-ready groove and the now common Nelly-esque "ohs" thrown in among the beats.
It's the non-Milian penned numbers that really stand out, though; like "Dip it Low," "Whatever you Want" (featuring Joe Budden) should be another dance hit, with an easy chorus and great bass line. "Get Loose" keeps the momentum going with its catchy melody and unrelentless rhythm, while "I Need More" could easily fit on a Britney Spears album.
As for the slower numbers, "Miss You Like Crazy" features the usual when-you-gonna-come-back-baby? plot; while it doesn't break ground lyrically ("You're not here so I hold / My pillow"), Milian's sweet voice and the simple melody make it a decent ballad. "Someday One Day" fleshes out Milian's vocals in an atmosphere eerily reminiscent of a Janet Jackson tune; in fact, Milian evokes Jackson many times throughout this album - and that's not a bad thing. Milian's straightforward, pure voice is a refreshing break from the over-produced, over-sampled, and computer-enhanced singers currently populating the charts in all genres. The majority of the tracks feature only bass, beats, and minimal instrumentation, allowing Milian's voice to shine and dance around the melodies.
That said, while there are good moments throughout, there aren't any great ones - and therein lies the problem. There is nothing here to make Milian stand out from the crowd - musically, lyrically, or otherwise. Substance makes an effort on a few of the tracks - notably "Oh Daddy" which details Milian's life after her father abandoned her family, and "I'm Sorry," which tells a smitten man to go back to his wife - but the bulk of the album deals with wanting love, missing love, being in love you get the picture.
Overall, this is a fine debut for a young R&B singer and writer. If you're looking for an average album with a few fresh grooves and sweet vocals, It's About Time will suffice. In a few years, Milian might be able to bring us a ground-breaking record - or at least, one with more substance and more innovation. Unfortunately, this is not that album, nor that time.07-Sep-2004 9:46 PM