Sheena One Man Woman
To my untutored ears this sounds very dated. Perhaps we’re coming full circle and this is the cutting edge of modern R&B. While it’s made everyone sound exactly the same, R&B in the Noughties has at least done some very interesting sonic experimentation round the edges. That is entirely absent from this album.
For me, truly great R&B, truly great anything, transcends genre barriers. It gets to sit on your i pod next to Nirvana, all out of place, because life is just better with it there. Sometimes the difference between these tracks and the rest is tiny, the difference between Destiny’s Child and Kelly Rowland for example. So while I personally hate this kind of thing, if it’s any good I’ll know. Besides, my new sparkly positivity demands that I say something nice. After all there will be people out there who will like this.
They’re probably all in their forties and she will have to pry them away from the X-Factor, but I’m sure they’re there. Maybe I should respect that Shena or her producers – there’s no suggestion who is really responsible for this – have decided to stick to their guns and pretend that the last decade and a half hasn’t happened.
Maybe I should respect that someone with a voice this ordinary has managed to record an album in the first place. There are one or two moments, particularly in ‘Stay a While’, when something beautiful happens. However, as is the way with this type of music it is soon swamped with something predictable and unnecessary, not to mention something from the mid-Nineties. In the end it’s R&B by the numbers and no amount of hooks or professionalism can raise this above the background noise. Sorry.