‘Onmyradio’ Fails to Disappoint
When Musiq Soulchild stepped on the scene in 2000 with his classic debut album Aijustwanaseing, he carried on the tradition of Neo-Soul music started by artist including Erykah Badu and D’angelo. From “Just Friends” and “Love” to “Don’t Change” and “B.U.D.D.Y.”, Musiq has remained a consistent force in the realm of Neo-Soul for almost a decade. With his latest release “Onmyradio”, the 30 year old Philly native fails to disappoint.
For Musiq fans, the release of the first single from “Onmyradio”, “Radio” was a confusing. The crunk track does nothing to compliment Musiq as an artist or appease his fan base and failed to chart. With the state of R&B as it is, the watered down production, uninspired vocals and no originally, one would wonder why Musiq, would try and conform. Thankfully, the poor choice of a lead single is in no way indicative of the remainder of the album.
“OnMyRadio” opens with the up-tempo, hard hitting, bass driven “Backagain”, where Musiq explains how he thought he was over a break-up, until they came back.
“Until”, reminiscent lyrically of Stevie Wonder’s classic “Always”, tells of how he’ll love his significant other until the end of time. It is one of the albums stand-out tracks.
The second single, “IfULeave”, a duet with the Queen of Hip/Hop R&B Soul, Mary J. Blige is a well balanced duet of back and forth banter between a couple on the verge of a break-up. Production-wise, it is similar to”Teachme”, a gem released from Musiq’s last album, “Luvanmusiq”.
Momentum comes to a stand still with “Special” and “Deserveyoumore” On “Special” the melody and beat are competing with each other and “Deserveyoumore” sounds like a 70’s bland love song by an all male vocal quartet.
The piano driven “Dearjohn” is a letter explaining how Musiq, lacking the courage to break up in person instead opts for a pen and piece of paper. The sadness in Musiq’s voice, remorseful lyrics, vocal arrangement, harmonies and production make this the best track on the album.
Next, “Loveofmylife”, is equally endearing and gross as Musiq sings how he “can loose a car, even body parts”, but could never live without the love of his life. Feeling the recession, “Moneyright”, an up-tempo electro-pop groove has Musiq pledging to give his love all they desire once he gets his funds together. In terms of production, where as John Legend has “Green Light”, Musiq has “Moneyright”, minus Andre 3000.
On “Someone” Musiq delivers what he does best. Love ballads. The dulcet melody and beautiful words express how we all want someone to love us despite our imperfections.
The only other feature on the album, “Iwannabe” featuring Damian Marley infuses a bit of Reggae and Caribbean vibe on a song surely to make you want to move.
“Sobeautiful” is another moving love ballad where Musiq displays how his vocal prowess has matured in the past 8 years trying out his falsetto.
Albums are often judged by their first single, but there are exceptions to every rule, “Onmyradio” being one. Musiq, although with a few missteps, has stayed true to who he is as an artist while remaining relevant. Although “Onmyradio” may not be Musiq’s best, it is a solid effort and a solid effort from Musiq is still better than what’s currently playing—on the radio.
88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.