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Review: Mýa’s emotional tracks soar

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Popular singer-songwriter Mýa, best known for her late ’90s to early 2000s material such as “Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)” and “Fallen,” has returned to the music scene with the release of her eighth independent studio project, “Smoove Jones,” on Feb. 14. The album’s release on Valentine’s Day made sense given the feeling of the album. Many of the lyrics have an intimate and steamy vibe reminiscent of contemporary rhythmandblues music, and the album is very cohesive in that way.

Beneath the surface, the majority of the songs contain melodic sounds, and the lyrics are full of gravity and meaning. This method was especially explored with songs like “Welcome to My World,” “Phya and “Team You.” With these three songs, it’s as though she is giving her own interpretation of the R&B genre with influences from her past work.

The standout track on the album is “Hold On,” featuring Phil Ade. While it is a single with a mature tone, it has an easy beat that flows and seems like a natural effort on the part of Mýa. Phil Ade assists with his own rapping style, and his performance seems just as effortless as Mýa’s. She has produced albums many times before and is clearly a seasoned vet in the music industry, but Mýa is still able to add something new and versatile into the mix. “Circle of Life” is a single that is definitely promising in that way, and it offers a sense of relief from the other songs, as it is light, fresh and effortlessly energetic.

For the better part of two decades, Mýa has been producing music and has released many hits, but despite this, she has virtually been under the radar for the last couple years. Because she has continued to produce throughout the years, in many ways, this album cannot quite be considered her resurgence, but it definitely puts her back in the game. While it’s not for certain whether this trajectory will continue, this project shows her commitment to producing original content and material.

“Smoove Jones” is an expression of the singer’s passion for music through her lyrics. It is evident that this project was a labor of love for Mýa as it was independently made and self-funded, which demonstrates her profound effort and commitment to this craft.

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of Mýa’s first studio album. In the years following, she has seen many successes, despite facing many shifts within the music industry. It is evident that as an independent artist, she has been able to focus more on the quality of her music more than ever before.  

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