Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
This sophomore effort by 2002 hip-pop debutante Ashanti is aimed squarely at the mainstream portion of her audience. Where she made her name with radio-ready duets featuring Ja Rule and Fat Joe, Chapter II goes light on th... more »
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This sophomore effort by 2002 hip-pop debutante Ashanti is aimed squarely at the mainstream portion of her audience. Where she made her name with radio-ready duets featuring Ja Rule and Fat Joe, Chapter II goes light on the rap, opting for only a small handful of cameos by co-producer Chink Santana. The mostly mid-tempo tracks are pleasant, but much of the album feels like an unfinished structure that?ll only be fully built when the songs are remixed for the airwaves. Still, with the star?s assured (and nicely undersold) vocals front and center, it amounts to a breath of fresh air from production company Murder Inc. Note: "Breakup 2 Makeup" once more updates the Chaka Khan/Mary J. Blige classic "Sweet Thing." --Rickey Wright
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Amanda C. from SAN ANTONIO, TX
Reviewed on 9/16/2006...
in perfect condtion.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Groove | Boston, MA | 07/02/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Despite a million-plus selling debut, a handful of top ten singles, and being hailed as the new princess of r&b, Ashanti Douglas still has a lot to prove. Like Madonna, Kylie, and J.Lo, Ashanti suffers from an affliction common among most young and pretty female artists: success without the respect. The criticism isn't unwarranted: her 2002 self-titled debut was a collection of trendy hip-hop r&b that's high on gloss but low on substance. What's more, her vocal range is limited to a pretty light whisper that lacks the muscle and grit of many of her peers. It'd be refreshing to expect "Chapter II" to represent a mature step forward from her seriously flawed debut, but you'd be setting yourself up for disappointment. The problems with this CD begin right at its very foundation: the songwriting. Actually, "songwriting" is too questionable a term to use since everything here sounds borrowed, stolen, and sampled. Hooks are few, and the beats lack bounce. The lyrics are trite, juvenile, and vapid tales that fall mainly into one of two categories: puppy love and "he-did-me-wrong." Take a sample from "The Story of 2": "Baby I'm just thinking about what I wanna do / just wanna do / I don't care if I'm wrong / think I'm in love with you." Producer Irv Gotti works overtime to conceal Ashanti's strained voice by coming up with stale rhythms and recycled ideas. This is especially evident on tracks like "Living My Life," "Feel So Good," and the tragic "Breakup 2 Makeup." "Chapter II" does have one guilty pleasure of a single: the infectious "Rock Wit U," which has a hook so undeniable you almost forget how empty-headed it is. The rest of the album would succeed if the other cuts were as interesting, but, in the end, Ashanti has released a second album that's all sizzle and no steak. She could have fought back at critics with a tough album that would justify her commercial success. Instead, she and Irv Gotti slavishly follow the very formula that made her a multiplatinum star in the first place, and they take virtually no risks. That's progress?"
Mary J. Blige she is not!
LJ | NY, NY | 07/09/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Normally i don't buy a CD after hearing one song, but considering how much I liked Rock wit U and her first album, I figured that buying Chapter II would be a good bargain. Boy, was I wrong. Ashanti is considered the "princess of R&B". And while I'm not sure if that's the truth, she is trying to be way too soulful on this album. Ashanti, stick to R&B, and let Mary J. Blige handle hip-hop and soul.
How dare someone compare this album to Mary's "My Life"? That album has feelings, emotions... you can actually feel Mary pour out her heart and soul onto those records. And since she's my favorite artist, I'm a little picky when it comes to someone compared to her.
Despite her short-comings (and extremely annoying skits), I'll still give the album 3 stars. I dont see her coming out with another video unless she does some remix, since most of the songs are slow (or just not worth being mainstream)."