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LeToya - 'Lady Love'

Confidence & Swagger

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By Timothy Michael Carson

LeToya - 'Lady Love'
Former original Destiny’s Child member, LeToya Luckett carves her niche in the world of R&B music with the release of her sophomore album, Lady Love. Released in the U.S. on Aug. 25, 2009, the album flaunts a newfound confidence and "swagga" that was previously lacking on her 2006 self-titled debut. After listening to the album, one must question why exactly LeToya wasn't offered more lead vocals while a member of Destiny's Child and the true motives behind her being replaced at the budding of the group's mainstream success.

Slight Variations

On this album, LeToya exhibits her versatility as her soft soprano vocals ride along over hard hitting bass-laden tracks and croons over many of the album's ballads. This time around, she deviates from many of the hip-hop tracks that comprised her debut album. Opting for a more ballad and mid-tempo album, Lady Love only offers three danceable tracks.
The 14-track album, although a solid offering, does have its drawbacks. The majority of the tracks fall into two categories: love gone wrong and "She Ain't Got Sh** On Me." With these themes being the driving force behind the album, Lady Love can quickly become a tiresome listen. Many of the songs tend to sound alike, and you might find yourself double checking to see if you accidentally hit the repeat button.
Apparently the creative minds behind the album failed to take into consideration that there are only so many variations one can do to a song about a cheating lover, how love has left one damaged, or about how good one's love supposedly is. In fact, the majority of the songs are slight variations from her debut album. A listen from start to finish will show that there isn't one hit song. Instead of going for chart toppers, Lady Love's main focus is on offering above-average songs. What surprised me about the album wasn't the lack of number one hits, but that it actually offered a cohesive compilation of tracks. If you are going through the aftermaths of a relationship, contemplating on calling it quits with a lover, or have been cheated on, then you might choose to seek comfort in many of the songs.

A Great Listen

If you put aside the monotonous song content and themes, LeToya's vocals are what kept me replaying the album over and over. She seductively coos over the "I Need A U," which she duets with an electric guitar. She successfully shows us that Janet Jackson isn't the only one capable of selling a song that is lightly whispered. This is by far one of the album's standout tracks. In fact, I hope it's a sound that LeToya sticks with. LeToya shows off her upper vocal register on "Don't Need U." This, in my opinion, is LeToya's best recording to-date. Overall, there really are no bad tracks on the album. Other notable tracks include the Ne-Yo penned lead single "Not Anymore," "Lazy," and the Ludacris assisted track "Regret."
Lady Love sees songwriting duties by LeToya herself, Tank, Ne-Yo, J. Valentine and Chris Brown just to name a few. Neff-U, Blac Elvis, MaddScientist, and Ryan Leslie are some of the notable producers that lent their skills to the project. Estelle, Ludacris and Mims make guest appearances.
Overall, the album falls into the contemporary R&B genre and is a great listen - although listeners might quickly lose interest. This critic gives Lady Love 3/5 stars.

Pros:
Vocal growth
Production
Songwriting

Cons:
Monotonous lyrics
Lack of subject matter
No variations

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