Release Date: Sep 21, 2010
Record label: SRC/Universal Motown
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Pop/Rock, Contemporary R&B
Shontelle’s two biggest hits — 2008’s ”T-Shirt” and this summer’s ”Impossible” — showed off her knack for slower and (somewhat) thoughtful songs. That still happens in flashes on her new album, with the country-leaning(!) ”Say Hello to Goodbye” and piano-laced ”Kiss You Up” making the strongest impressions. The rest of the disc, though, is a rather unremarkable tour through uptempo styles, including techno, bubblegum, and club.
Shontelle is often linked to her fellow Bajan and labelmate Rihanna, but her latest offering is closer to generic, club-friendly pop then Rihanna's raunchy, Caribbean-lilted hits. Shontelle got her break as a writer – including the feminist-lite soca anthem Roll It Gal for Alison Hinds in 2007 – and she hasn't surrendered her role in songwriting on this, her second album. Unfortunately, with its white-washed R&B, upbeat dance tempos and glossy production, No Gravity could have been fronted by any number of pop princesses.
The press pumps up the fact that Shontelle is Barbadian, just like Rihanna, but her functional dance-pop material and temperate ballads could be delivered by any moderately talented vocalist from the Midwest. “Impossible” nearly reached the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100, yet it leaves no impression beyond the fact that it is a cathartic ballad of some sort, and the upbeat tracks, produced by the likes of Rodney Jerkins (Mary J. Blige, Brandy), Harry Sommerdahl (Lindsey Lohan, Celine Dion), and Bruno Mars' Smeezingtons (Justin Bieber, Travie McCoy), get the job done for the dancefloor but are lacking in character.