Monday, June 1st, 2009

Keyshia Cole ft. Monica – Trust

That hair colour’s a bit sensible, innit?…


Rodney J. Greene: Click here for free MP3.

Doug Robertson: Banal and generic, this twinkles along vaguely prettily, but has about as much impact as dropping a foam ball on to a square of already hardened cement.

Alfred Soto: Cole has verged on mega-crossover success for a few years, and this track proves why she’ll remain on the verge. Unlike Mary J or, for better or worse, Alicia Keys, her respectable pipes don’t project much personality. Blige has made a career out of singing passive-aggressive banalities like this, but she convinces you that she believes them, that she reads Eckhart Tolle for spiritual guidance. Cole, with misapplied humility, just serves the song as if she really thought it was “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”. She sings like a backup singer who got lucky.

Al Shipley: Keysh has evidently gotten so tired of the Mary J. comparisons that she’s instead tearing a page out of the Brandy playbook, just for the fuck of it. Monica’s sweet, soulful delivery is a welcome counterpoint, but she’s not nearly as entertaining as the deep voice that intones “TRUST” out of nowhere in the middle of the song.

Martin Skidmore: Apart from one grunty interjection, I like this R&B ballad very much. It’s kind of old-fashioned: a straightforwardly smooth and lush production, and little autotune until light use at the end. Keyshia is quite restrained, but she sings it very well, with appropriate warmth. Immensely likeable.

Anthony Easton: Bird songs and strings, like the opening of “Imitation of Life”, and then a talky beginning that is halfway between R Kelly and the Shangri Las — the first 10 seconds of this got me all excited about the intermingling of my favourite high pop. A little generic R and B, then an auto-tuned voice saying the word “Trust”, some more generic r and b, then double tracking, and heavy breathing. More generic r and b, then a floating, rapturous, swooning high note. A little more generic r and b, then strings over drums and onomatopoeic syllables. I am shocked there is no piano, though ending with radio static sends the same message. Cut all the generic stuff, shove it into a hyper condensed 90 seconds, and you shake up a genre that is too mannered for its own good; for now, little edge pieces and exquisite studio creation do not do enough to get over the boring bits.

Martin Kavka: I lose most of my ability to be pulled into this song after ten seconds. Monica picks up the phone to hear, “You know it’s your girl, K.C.” Why does this need to be said? Doesn’t Monica have caller ID? Isn’t Keyshia programmed into her contact list? Whatevs. But then, eighty seconds later, Monica comes in with her verse, and almost all is forgiven. She hasn’t sounded this effortlessly skilled in a decade.

Alex Ostroff: Much like Mary J, Keyshia’s always excelled at conveying a depth of hurt, pain and resilience. The more positive vibe here is soulful and smooth but Trust doesn’t really leave much of a mark. Monica, eternally second fiddle to the latest R&B ingenue, makes an appearance on the single. Yet, where The Boy is Mine required her presence, two capable singers here only manage to produce one decent song.

Additional Scores

Hillary Brown: [6]
Chuck Eddy: [4]
Iain Mew: [4]
Michaelangelo Matos: [5]

One Response to “Keyshia Cole ft. Monica – Trust”

  1. [i]Generic melisma mush. Goes downhill after the opening girltalk section, which conveys far more feeling than the rest of the song. Goes further downhill when vocal-chord exercises commence. And what’s with the dork intoning the song title once in the background? Sounds like the annoying voices that labels glue onto advance promo CDs to keep them from being ripped onto the Internet.