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Album Review: Mya - 'K.I.S.S.'

Keeping It Sexy & Simple?

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating

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Album Review: Mya - 'K.I.S.S.'
On her first U.S.-released album since 2003, Grammy-winning singer Mya Harrison proves that not all comebacks are deserving or welcome. Her latest project, K.I.S.S., which stands for Keep It Sexy & Simple, is definitely simple, and yes, maybe even somewhat sexy. What it is not, however, is an album that needed to be made, or something that you or anyone else should feel that they need to hear. Even though K.I.S.S. was just released on Dec. 20, 2011, it's a safe bet that this mediocre piece of work will be completely forgotten by music fans by the end of the year.

Flat, Inexpressive

Mya wasn't the first female singer with a pretty face and flat, highly limited vocal skills to come along, and she certainly won't be the last. And like many of the others, she's had her 15 minutes of fame, but is still struggling to hold on to her dream. But the mediocre, unoriginal and creatively lacking material on K.I.S.S. isn't likely to expand her fanbase much, if at all. In fact, it just might have the opposite effect.
Honestly though, the album actually starts out pretty strongly; two of the first three songs are outright banging. The tracks "Rear View Mirror," which features reggae singer Sean Paul, and "Take Him Out," featuring female dancehall artist Spice, are both infectious, high-energy songs. The problem for Mya in each case, however, is that the guest overshadows and outshines her on both songs, and they're the one reason each track is interesting and worth hearing.

Weak Vocal Performances

Another of the few pretty good songs worth hearing is "Love Me Some You," a semi-romantic, vaguely sexual duet with Marques Houston, a man who himself has always been and probably always will be a bland vocalist. And when you're getting outshined by the likes of Marques Houston, it's time to either put more effort into those vocal lessons, or start seriously thinking about a different career path.
Throughout K.I.S.S., Mya tries out different personas like she's putting on new sets of clothes: she's a confident, independent woman on the title track; she's a sassy street chick on the club banger "Earthquake;" she's a vulnerable, heartbroken girl on "Love Comes, Love Goes;" and she's a strong, powerful woman on "Evolve." Unfortunately, she doesn't come off convincingly in any of the roles. And the lack of consistency and cohesiveness throughout the album ultimately proves to be the second-biggest drawback, right after the multiple weak vocal performances.

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