Picks and Pans Review: Fear of Flying
Album of the week
In an industry ruled by big-name, tech-loving R&B producers, the sound that brought them to the dance in the first place—the human voice—often gets drowned out. So it is a pleasure to report that even with the big boys on board (the producers here include Wyclef Jean, the Ruff Ryder label's Swizz Beatz and Alan Thicke's son Robin), 20-year-old Mya Harrison more than holds her own. With her breathy vocals and street attitude, the former tap dancer turned winsome rhythm-and-blues singer exudes an honest, down-to-earth quality that belies the in-studio sleight of hand. On tracks like the playful, retro-soul tune "Takin' Me Over" (which has the feel of a classic) or the rugged, hip-hop fortified "Best of Me," Mya offers no bold new sonic innovations. But she does breathe life and sass into a genre too long held hostage by formula.
Bottom Line: Unexpected treat