It's About Time
label: Record Collection
our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
You're a little
sore from dippin' it low all summer long, thanks to the recent
hit single from Christina Milian. Maybe you're looking for a new
dance move, or just want to cool down a bit. You pick up her debut
release and ask yourself: is it? Is it about time? Does the rest
of this album have what you need? The answer is yes, sort of.
When the beats are going strong, she shines with a smooth voice
and catchy rhythms. The slower ballads don't bring anything new
to the R&B scene, but there are enough good moments on this
album to make it a decent US debut (Milian released an album in
the UK in 2001).
has been acting in film and television since she was 13 and has
co-written songs such as the Jennifer Lopez hit "Play,"
co-wrote 6 of the 11 tracks and served as co-executive producer
on It's About Time - all impressive feats, considering
she is only 22 years old. Her potential to pen great R&B hits
shines strongest on the pumping "Peanut Butter and Jelly,"
which brings new meaning to the food with lines like "Stickin
to me so sweet on you." But what makes this song work is
the club-ready groove and the now common Nelly-esque "ohs"
thrown in among the beats.
It's the non-Milian
penned numbers that really stand out, though; like "Dip it
Low," "Whatever you Want" (featuring Joe Budden)
should be another dance hit, with an easy chorus and great bass
line. "Get Loose" keeps the momentum going with its
catchy melody and unrelentless rhythm, while "I Need More"
could easily fit on a Britney Spears album.
As for the
slower numbers, "Miss You Like Crazy" features the usual
when-you-gonna-come-back-baby? plot; while it doesn't break ground
lyrically ("You're not here so I hold / My pillow"),
Milian's sweet voice and the simple melody make it a decent ballad.
"Someday One Day" fleshes out Milian's vocals in an
atmosphere eerily reminiscent of a Janet Jackson tune; in fact,
Milian evokes Jackson many times throughout this album - and that's
not a bad thing. Milian's straightforward, pure voice is a refreshing
break from the over-produced, over-sampled, and computer-enhanced
singers currently populating the charts in all genres. The majority
of the tracks feature only bass, beats, and minimal instrumentation,
allowing Milian's voice to shine and dance around the melodies.
while there are good moments throughout, there aren't any great
ones - and therein lies the problem. There is nothing here to
make Milian stand out from the crowd - musically, lyrically, or
otherwise. Substance makes an effort on a few of the tracks -
notably "Oh Daddy" which details Milian's life after
her father abandoned her family, and "I'm Sorry," which
tells a smitten man to go back to his wife - but the bulk of the
album deals with wanting love, missing love, being in love
you get the picture.
is a fine debut for a young R&B singer and writer. If you're
looking for an average album with a few fresh grooves and sweet
vocals, It's About Time will suffice. In a few years, Milian
might be able to bring us a ground-breaking record - or at least,
one with more substance and more innovation. Unfortunately, this
is not that album, nor that time.
liked It's About Time...
2. Dip It Low (with Fabolous)
3. I Need More
4. Whatever U Want (with Joe Budden)
5. Someday One Day
7. I'm Sorry
8. Get Loose
9. L.O.V.E. (with Joe Budden)
10. Peanut Butter & Jelly
11. Miss You Like Crazy
12. Oh Daddy