RATING: 4 CHET BAKERS
In 2002 I was flipping through the channels and came across Floetry's "Say Yes" video playing on one of the music video channels and was immediately drawn in. The mixture of smooth soulful music, and the pure sexuality of the lyrics was a powerful combination. Add in my affinity for English women's accents, and I was sold.
I went out and bought the album, Floetic, that day, and found the rest of the album, in a rare coup for me, matching up to the enjoyment of that first single. Floetry was made up of "Songstress" Marsha Ambrosius and "Floacist" Natalie Stewart. Their combination of soul music and spoken word was a welcome breath of fresh air.
Sadly, Floetry only put out one more album (plus a live album) before splitting up to go solo.
The Floetic couple's final album was released 5 years ago this past November, and finally we are getting another taste, albeit in solo efforts.
Last year Natalie Stewart put out an album called "The Floacist" which was fantastic. Pretty much what you would expect from one of the members of that great group.
This year it's Marsha's turn, albeit long overdue. Over the past five years or so she has put out numerous mixtapes and been featured on songs by other artists including Nas, The Game, Busta Rhymes, Earth Wind & Fire and Slum Village among others.
She was originally signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath records, and unfortunately much like the good Doctor's own Detox album, Ambrosius' solo debut has been pushed back many times over the course of the last year.
Now, however, she is no longer with Aftermath, and finally the album is here, and many people are wondering whether or not it would live up to the hype. Whether she could match the brilliance of the Floetry days, or the level of Stewart's album.
I'm here to tell you it does. If you have ever heard a Floetry album, you know what to expect here. Smooth soulful music, with lyrics that are poignant and real. There's no cookie cutter teen diva wannabe type lyrics on here, these are raw emotional subjects tackled by the Songstress.
Her single "I Hope She Cheats On You (With a Basketball Player)" is both hilarious and shocking in it's bluntness and emotion. Telling of her man who has left her for someone else, and her wishing him to get hte same type of treatment that she got. For him to know what it feels like to be betrayed, and to take it to that next level, for it to be an athlete.
There are various ways you can view that aspect of the song, whether it's a sort of added insult that she's dating a pro-player, or just the high profile diss. Either way, this song signals that Ambrosius is more than capable of stepping out on her own.
Some artists when going solo after being in a group, are unable to really duplicate that success when moving on by themselves for whatever reason. Ambrosius is more than willing and able to put the doubters to rest with this solid solo debut.
Standout tracks include: I Hope She Cheats On You, Far Away, and Lose Myself among many others.
Production on this album is tight, with much of the production work being done by Ambrosius herself, but also some assists by Just Blaze, Andre Harris, Vidal Davis and Syience.
Overall this album is very sensually seductive. This is grown folks music here, ladies and gentlemen. This is not Rhihanna. This is not Ciara (who I like). This is not Beyonce. This is a real woman speaking from real experiences and doing so in her own way. This isn't the same old stuff you hear on the radio that you probably wouldn't be able to tell who sang it. In the vein of Erykah and Jilly from Philly, Marsha Ambrosius is here folks.
Now let's just see if we can get a Floetry Reunion album next year, huh?