Organic & Real
Even better, there's a wealth of different topics here, not just the usual looking for love/in love/out of love songs. On "Don't Forget The Ghetto," Hilary sings about remembering those less fortunate than yourself and on "If I Was You," she urges a woman to get out of an abusive relationship. "Get out while you can and while you're still in one piece," she sings. And on the title track she gives a pep talk to all the sistas out there (or as she calls them, black roses) struggling through life: "Rise above adversity, stay strong and keep movin' on," Hilary sings. The only problem is that black roses are traditionally used as symbols of death or hatred, so using the term 'black rose' to refer to black women, while well-meaning, is a double-edged sword.
Overall, the album is solid if unspectacular. The track production isn't stellar, but still a nice change of pace from the same half-dozen producers that seem to helm 75 percent of the albums in the U.S. R&B market these days. Unlike those albums, Black Rose sounds fresh and original, organic and real, not like it was conceived by a hit-making machine.