EP Review: Mýa – Sweet XVI
Remember Mýa? She was the girl behind hits such as “It’s All About Me” featuring Sisqó, “Case of the Ex”, and “My Love Is Like…Wo”, becoming a staple of the transitioning R&B/Pop sound of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Amd to celebrate the 16th anniversary of her debut self-titled album, she’s back with an EP of new material.
Released April 21st, Sweet XVI is a six-track master course in how to be both current and talented. She showcases her unique tender-strong vocals while also switching things up to sound more like what you’d hear on today’s urban radio stations.
Ciara really owes her whole career to Mýa. She paved the way for her existence. She was cute, she could dance her behind off, and she effortlessly blended rappers into her songs. The main difference is that Mýa had actual singing ability. And it shows all over this EP.
This is the perfect reintroduction for Mýa. It has that female empowerment with a touch of sex appeal that she was known so well for, and the hip-hop R&B elements are perfectly suited for her. You’ll get the immense sing along appeal on first listen.
2. Cherry Lips
Here, Mýa takes it super sexy. You can tell from the title that there will be some serious flirtation vibes, and Mýa does not disappoint. She’s got a mission that she is determined to complete.
3. Same Page
This is the most “modern” I have ever heard Mýa sound. The voice-synthesizer is used heavily, which I generally abhor, but when used intentionally like this, the effect is downright enjoyable.
She is complimented well on the track by Eric Bellinger. His laid back style helps to make the song that much more authentic. This is the clear standout of the EP.
4. Right Now
Mýa goes back to the overtly sexual music that initially sidelined her career. The problem with songs like this is that they strip out any need for vocal talent. Any female could have put this out and achieved the same effect. Mýa needs to make sure everything she does continues to set her apart.
In 3 words: gritty, gutter, crunk. Mýa professes her love for that mean green. She hits all the pertinent points, boasting about her businesswoman status and her drive to make that dough. But she puts enough of a spin on the “all about the paper” concept to not sound like a copycat.
This is an incredibly inspiring and triumphant track. Mýa tells everyone to stand strong and firm in the face of adversity. Looking back over her life, she can see how fighting in times of struggle has led her to win. Great bars from newcomer Mike Check put an exclamation point on that message with his own tale of how hard work breeds success.
On Sweet XVI, Mýa reinvents her sound while staying true to what gave her a crown in the first place. She is no Beyoncé, but I’d argue that she is more of what music needs right now. She has mass appeal, a pleasing voice, and the means to move from sexy situations to more meaningful pieces without getting too deep. Overall, Mýa makes a statement about why she still deserves a place in the industry. Message received.
Buy the EP on iTunes here.
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