K・ミシェル(K. Michelle)『More Issues Than Vogue』T・ペインやデンジャら新鮮な手合せも スロウ~ミッドで持ち味を活かす3作目


ケリー・プライスのペンによる苦く切ないスロウ“Not A Little Bit”を聴くだけで、女王メアリーやキーシャ・コールの受け渡したバトンが、いま誰の掌中にあるのかわかるだろう。〈Vogue誌の部数より多い問題〉という表題そのままに、リアリティー・スターとしての顔も活かして自身(や世の女性)にまつわるイシューを描いたサード・アルバム。ジャケやエグいアートワークもそれを反映したものだが、冒頭の小品“Mindful”でブーティーなラップを叩き込んで以降は、シンプルなスロウ~ミッドで己の持ち味を剥き出しにしてくる。アウトキャスト使いのT・ペイン仕事“Got Em Like”、ヒットメイカー(=ヤング・バーグ!)ら作のアンビエント系“Ain't You”、デンジャが意外な正調サザン作法で臨んだ“If It Ain't Love”など新鮮な手合わせの成果は上々。リル・ロニーらとの“All I Got”やポップ&オークが浮遊感を注いだ“Sleep Like A Baby”、エリック・ハドソン製の“Time”など馴染みの敏腕が仕立てた衣装もよく似合う。またまた名盤。

[English Translation]
Just listening to the bitter sweet slow "Not A Little Bit" penned by Kelly Price and you will know who carries the torch passed by the Queen of Hip-Hop Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole. As the title [More Issues Than ‘Vogue’] suggests, she depicts many issues surrounding her (and other women) in this 3rd album using her position as a reality star. The attitude is reflected in the album cover as well as the sharp art work. Following the short opening track "Mindful" of her hammering booty rap, she demonstrates her stunningly superb singing on the simple, slow to medium tracks. The game played by the combination of fresh names on the production team has resulted in a favorable outcome, such as in "Got Em Like" produced by T-Pain using a sample of Outkast's song, ambient-inspired "Ain't You" by the hit-maker (=Yung Berg!) and more, as well as the unexpected "If It Ain't Love" in which producer Danja uses orthodox Southern-manners. She also looks good in the ‘attire’ groomed up by her longtime great producers, such as "All I Got" with Lil Lonnie and others, "Sleep Like A Baby" into which Pop & Oak poured lightheadedness, and "Time" produced by Eric Hudson. Simply another great album.