What, you ask, could possibly be wrong with Mariah CareyÃ‚â€™s career going belly up and J-Lo choosing to focus on film rather than music? How about putting up with the output of what is affectionately known as Ã‚â€œthe next best thing.Ã‚â€� Deborah Cox is J RecordsÃ‚â€™ prefabricated pop princess and the worst nightmare of many a fan of real music. In a saturated marketplace, why is it that every label with a little AR money to throw around must stand up and say Ã‚â€œMe too?Ã‚â€�
Deborah CoxÃ‚â€™s new album, The Morning After, can only be described as a lackluster effort by even popÃ‚â€™s standards. Recycling clichÃƒÂ©s from every facet of pop, soul, and R&B, the over produced instrumentation is strictly generic from the beats on up. Utilizing a veritable army of producers (among them schlock guru Jimmy Jam) yielded no improvement in CoxÃ‚â€™s craft; every song on The Morning After is yet another installment in the blandest attempt at cashing in ever committed to compact disk.
When all else fails, a safe fall back from actual song craft for the Ã‚â€œpop divaÃ‚â€� has always been the sexually grinder number which this album has plenty of including a couple of remixes. There are two versions of Ã‚â€œUp and Down (In and Out)Ã‚â€� which suggests to me that there wasnÃ‚â€™t really enough material to produce a proper album and that this is merely a corporate cash grab on another pretty face.
The fact of the matter is that anybody with a clue about music realizes that singers like Deborah Cox are simply prepackaged meat. Hopefully, publications like Rolling Stone and the like will stop kissing these Ã‚â€œpop divasÃ‚â€� collective ass and their ranks will trim down a little and allow space for real musicians on record labels.
By * Rings
Mar 13, 2004