Friday, May 7th, 2010

Monica – Everything to Me

Annoyed this is the best grab I could get, the range of facial expressions she runs in the courtroom scenes are stunnin’…


Erick Bieritz: This is a completely uninformed complaint, and if it goes completely against actual singing rules it can be (reluctantly, distrustfully) withdrawn, but doesn’t an intense vocal tremolo sound just awful over a stop-and start arrangement? It certainly seems like it in “Everything To Me”. It doesn’t flow.

Alfred Soto: The stop-start rhythm and Deniece Williams sample are ideal foils for Monica’s buttery vocal, which is classy in an unboring way. Think of this as the grownup sequel to “The Boy is Mine.”

Al Shipley: I’ve always loved Monica’s tender, elastic vocal tone, and I don’t begrudge her for using it for slower, more adult contemporary material as she pushes 30 (although I do begrudge her for pioneering the black equivalent of Kate Gosselin hair). I definitely like her records to have more oomph than this, though, and the Deniece Williams sample just ladles on more syrup than I can handle.

Martin Skidmore: I love writer Jazmine Sullivan, and she can carry off this somewhat stilted number with style and power. Monica can’t. It’s not that she is a bad singer, but here she is going for big soul vocals over a muted backing, and she hasn’t got the power to do it. This really isn’t the right style for her, much as it’s a style I love.

Matt Cibula: You would think I would like this but I do not, because it features overdone warbling from the very opening, and a lot of bad clunky songwriting.

Katherine St Asaph: Monica sings it well, albeit with too much melisma, and the song’s warm enough, but every line reminds me of ten other artists. In large part, that’s warranted, considering the fairly noticeable sample of “Silly”. It’s entirely my fault, though, that I keep appending “…want it all, but I don’t!” to every verse, so courtesy point.

Jonathan Bogart: At some point overactive melisma stops being a display of virtuosic emotion and starts becoming a distancing effect just as unstable and inhuman as AutoTune. Monica hasn’t reached that point, but she’s dancing on the edge of it here. And without that, there’s nothing Alicia, Mary J., Mariah, and Whitney haven’t done better, many times each.

Michaelangelo Matos: This is going for a different ’70s than a lot of other R&B acts, and that works in its favor. This is later, maybe around ’76, when the sound and groove have softened but aren’t anywhere near disco. Quite the opposite: they’re going retro and comfortably upscale: the Pointer Sisters, Natalie Cole. I always liked Monica’s voice so it’s nice to hear her stretch on this. It’s also not memorable enough to feel like much more than a side-trip, though I’m happy to be proven wrong.

2 Responses to “Monica – Everything to Me”

  1. At some point overactive melisma stops being a display of virtuosic emotion and starts becoming a distancing effect just as unstable and inhuman

    Pretty sure this point was reached somewhere between 15 and 20 years ago. (On the other hand, I haven’t yet heard this song, and Matos’s description intrigues me a little.)

  2. I thought the Jukebox would be as much a sucker for this as I was.