Grammy award winner and R&B superstar Monica makes her return with her highly anticipated 8th album. Code Red sees Monica effortlessly blend her powerful brand of soul with the ever-changing sound of today. The album is a tremendous musical journey, with features from some of the biggest and best in the industry.
Other than the powerhouse that is Monica, the real star of this record is Laiyah, Monica’s two-year-old daughter, who introduces us to Code Red, on opener and title track Code Red. With a killer verse from Missy Elliott and Monica singing, “I’m focused on my baby girl”, this track set the tone for the album perfectly. The effortless combination of a high energy, electro beat and lyrical bites sung straight from the heart, it’s only a tease of what’s to come. Keeping the star-studded features coming is lead single, Just Right For Me, with Lil Wayne. It’s an updated version on the Smokey Robinson and Miracles classic and with it’s smooth R&B melody mixed with a strong hip-hop beat, it serves as another nod to the progressive musical direction of Code Red. With the duets from Timbaland and Akon also hitting a strong note, each shines in their own right.
Stripping back the duets and just letting the individual ballads shine proves that Monica is a dominant force in the musical world. Deep, Alone In Your Heart and Saints & Sinners are all big soul ballads that really highlight the smooth croon of her breathy vocals that are exposed behind a pounding beat. Code Red really promotes an utter love for the music she’s created, but also a deep admiration for incredible artists that shaped the scene, recognised by the sorrowful I Miss Music. Stripping it back and singing over an acoustic melody, her deep vocals sing a tale of the ever changing world of music, with her repeating, “what am I going to sing too” / “I miss music” before fading out. Although this is her 8th album, there’s no sign of Monica slowing down, and as a musical journey it’s hard to fault.