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28 March, 2007@12:00 am

     Musiq has had a recording life much longer than many artists in his genre. While the Neo-Soul tag has lost its luster and the sea of artists lumped in this genre have come and gone (Donnie, anyone?), it’s truly a wonder that Musiq still stands tall. Nothing about him has immediately shouted superb, but there’s always been something about Musiq that has made us come back for more.  Consistent has been his middle name for quite some time now, but will his fourth venture, Luvanmusiq, build upon his solid career?

    In the case of Musiq, each album is basically the same as the last. Nothing really remarkable, yet definitely not terrible. But with Luvanmusiq you get the feeling that he?s running out of steam. While “B.U.D.D.Y.” is the first single, it lacks the impact of previous hits such as “Halfcrazy” and “Love”. Usually the first single doesn’t mean anything in regards to the album, but with this endeavor, it is a precursor of how really average Luvanmusiq can be.  Just has his trademark run-on titles are beginning to lose their novelty, so is Musiq as an artist. While songs like “Betterman” captivate with their cool, other joints like “Today” are rather bland. Musiq doesn’t have an extravagant voice, so he usually has been able to make that up with solid songwriting and compositions.  But here a one dimensional Musiq surfaces and sweeps away the gear shifting artist that has grown on many of us.

    “Ms. Philadelphia” rolls along with a slick arrangement, but it’s nothing to make you subconsciously groove in the mirror.  The rest of the album takes a dive into charming bedroom music but sometimes just comes off extremely sappy. “Lullaby” is indeed sleep inducing with its so-so songwriting, too much R&B, and too little soul inspired production.  As a whole, Luvanmusiq lacks the funk and soul of Soulstar, the initial impact of Aijuswanaseing and the all around cool of Juslisten. With songs such as the over-romantic “Teachme” and the throwaway “Today”, it makes the listener wonder what happened to the old Musiq and why artists such as Bilal and Glen Lewis aren’t around anymore, as their work is much more superb than this particular outing. With all that said, it’s not a bad album, just something that was expected to have a much higher potency.

    With a tracklisting of a sparse 12 songs, Musiq didn’t give much room to expand on his artistry and instead delivered a slightly above average album. If you are new to Musiq Soulchild, you may or may not be interested in this release. But if you’ve hung around since Aijuswanaseing, then this release becomes rather disposable in relation to his previous outings.

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