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Album Review

Ella Mai – Ella Mai

Ella Mai – Ella Mai

By: Sydney Davis

Reigning in from London, Ella Mai popped up in the music world pretty abrupt this year, but she has actually been around for a while. She made a few EPs and signed with Interscope all since 2014. In 2017 she went on tour with Kehlani on her SweetSexySavage tour. In February this year she released her hit single “Boo’d Up”. To follow up her hit she then released the single “Trip” in August. These were a prelude to her anticipated, self-titled debut album, Ella Mai that was just released on October 12.

Mai’s album consists of 15 tracks and a bonus track on the deluxe and online versions to make a whopping 16 song LP. It is a complete R&B album showing off her vocal style along different beats and melodies. She has a theme of romance that details her love life experiences. Her album has peaked on the US Top Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Charts at number 4, and number 5 on the Billboard 200 Chart. With the album just being released, none of her songs outside of her two singles are charting nor receiving a lot of radio play. This may change within the next few weeks but that seems highly doubtful though because there are no other strong singles. She has a nice voice, and vocal range, and that is about it. She is not bad, but she has no flavor, no spice, nothing extravagant, or nice. She just has nothing that makes her stand out from other female R&B artists.

She pulled some major features on her album like John Legend on “Everything”, H.E.R. on “Gut Feeling” and Chris Brown on “Whatchamacallit”. “Whatchamacallit” is what you will say when trying to name any track off this album besides the singles. Nothing about her music is intriguing enough to make you want to differentiate the songs to come back later and listen to. The album is something you may just play when you just want some background music on that you won’t really pay attention to.

Mai needs to try different types of beats or maybe try a different flow. She needs to stay away from any beat that is even remotely similar to “Boo’d Up”. I am pretty sure the tracks “Dangerous”, “Sauce”, “Whatchamacallit”, “Shot Clock”, and “Trip”, all have almost identical drum/percussion beats as those used in “Boo’d Up”, just maybe a little slower or faster. If she continues at this rate she’s going, she will be remembered as a one hit wonder, even though she released an entire album.

Like I said before, Ella Mai has potential to do better. She has the voice, which is a start towards being a great artist. She just needs to make people care what she is singing about. I honestly have no intentions of listening to this album again on purpose. If a song comes on the radio or on shuffle, that is fine I will let it play, but I will not entirely vibe out to it either. Most of my time I spend thinking about Ella Mai will not be related to her music necessarily, but mostly myself debating if her name is pronounced like Ella “May” or Ella “My”. I always forget the correct way to say it just like how I forget about her music.

Rating: 5/10

Favorite Track: “Boo’d Up”

 

James Kallianis

November 6th, 2018

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