More Issues Than Vogue (2016)
R&B / Soul / Pop
Michelle has always been known as R&B’s loud and bold-faced singer who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. The distinction is reflected in her music, which features brazen lyrics and powerful vocals. The singer’s third studio album, More Issues Than Vogue, has an eyebrow-raising title with only a few tracks that seem worthy to be on an album with the title.
Right of the bat we get a lukewarm start. The songs “Mindful” and “Got Em Like” are loud-mouthed tracks, both produced by T-Pain. However, they lack any real substance and feel uninspired. They’re prefect theme songs for getting all the attention when you walk into a club, but that’s pretty much all they’re good for. When you consider the rest of the tracks on the album, minus the tip-toey “Rich” featuring Yo Gotti and Trina, they also don’t seem to fit in with the overall theme of love and reflection on sour relationships.
Luckily the album picks up a little bit with “Ain’t You,” a sultry song about the jealousy that K. Michelle can instill into the heart of any man other than the one she is talking to in the club. She wants to get down and dirty with the guy she chooses, leaving the rest to wallow in their wishes of being the lucky guy. The 90’s inspired love ballad, “Not A Little Bit,” is the next song on the tracklist and it happens to be the strongest offering on the album. Produced by Blac Elvis, the song is the story of moving on from a difficult relationship. K. Michelle’s powerful vocal ability shines on this one, propelling it to the top as a stand-out. “If It Ain’t Love” is another song with a strong sound as well.
The rest of the album doesn’t bring the same intensity as the last three songs, which is a real letdown. There’s a bunch of reflective songs and silky-smooth love ballads to be found, but they all just feel half-baked and lukewarm. Tracks like “Make the Bed,” featuring Jason Derulo, and “Nightstand” have some cool and energetic sounds, but ultimately feel like lazy pop knockoffs. I was listening to the album pretty late at night and the song “All I Got,” not going to lie, put me to sleep. Maybe this wasn’t the best album to be going off to bed to, but it goes to show how unoriginal and, well…boring most of these songs are.
Michelle’s powerful vocals are present on the good majority of the tracks, like “Time” and the conflicted “These Men,” which makes it a shame that the album lacks any real inspiration. She’s a talented singer that deserves to have a better album to her name. There are some bright gems among the pile of dull rocks, but the pile isn’t worth a look. Maybe More Issues Than Vogue is a title that doesn’t do the album any justice. It’s misleading, as the album isn’t really worthy of any headlines featured in Vogue. It’s the sad truth.