The Makings of Me
R&B

It's hard to believe that it has been 11 years since Monica released her debut album, Miss Thing, before she was even old enough to drive. This, her fourth disc, demonstrates why the singer has been able to outlast many an R&B ingenue. Showing Monica's healthy respect for her soul heritage, the CD takes its title from the great Curtis Mayfield song "The Makings of You." Fittingly, Mayfield's tune is sampled on "A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me)," an old-meets-new-school slow jam (which is one of three tracks produced by Missy Elliott). Even better are the bittersweet ballad "Why Her?" and "Sideline Ho," on which Monica puts the other woman precisely in her place.

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DOWNLOAD THIS: "Why Her?"