For all you old skool R&B lovers out there who crave simplistic harmonies and smoove grooves I’m pleased to announce that we do not have a case of the ex-artist here and Mya is back in all her magnificent glory with her eighth independent release “Smoove Jones” Gone is the “Ghetto superstar” girl and in her place is a confident and sexy woman who isn’t afraid to unleash her sexual prowess over a twelve track album which easily holds its own against classic albums such as ’12 Play’, creating a red light special for a new generation.
Mya heats up the airwaves and opens the show as her tongue twisting alter ego, radio host Smoove Jones and invites us to explore the purity of love and the depths of sexual desire on a ride which snakes itself around levels of lust, love and longing which we can all relate to. We receive a summery welcome to Mya’s world as she’s “High class sittin’ on a boat” on the sweet flavours of “Welcome to my world.” As Mya makes a sharp turn we are reminded this is Mya’s ride and all we can do is “Hold on” as she steers us to a track dipped in soul funk with a hint of attitude and a killer feature from rapper Phil Ade.
Mya then flips the script yet again and invites us on a ride of a different kind which takes place in the “Elevator” it’s a dizzying and heady ride to the top as Mya juxtaposes the elevator with the elevation we all strife for in our lives. Most surprisingly Mya debuts her rapping skills and spits a solid 16 bar verse as Smoove Jones and elevates the track to even greater heights; shining as the versatile artist that she is. After the thumping bass of “Elevator” Mya slows it right down and indulges in some “Phya” foreplay with her man, as the track glides over us like silken sheets. The track is contemporary in its use of autotune and showcases Mya’s ability to add a modern twist to her classic vocals. “Spoil Me” is one for the independent women out there who know what they want, how they want it and want it right now with the lyrics “Boys are for girls, women rule the world….you better recognise a queen” this is Mya in boss bitch mode the instrumental is bang up to date with futuristic elements added to give “Spoil me” a sting in its tail. Next up we have Mya cheerleading for her beloved on the sweet as honey “Team you” Mya becomes traditional and shows her soft side to declare her devotion to her man and let him know he has won her heart.
The title of the next track serves as an instruction for what the listener should do in preparation for what is about to happen – find ice, lots of it BAGS of it: Pour two dozen bags of ice in a bath and sit in it to make sure you don’t overheat and burn up! “Coolin” is an outstanding track and sees Mya at her most sensuous. The instrumental is simple with the strains of a lone guitar and later a hypnotic beat which seems to be knocking on the door to the bedroom begging us to let it in. Mya’s voice is simply stunning here, the breathy vocals Mya adopts adds innocence to her flawless range. By the time the track draws its curtains to a close that bath of ice you’ve been sitting is sure to be a bubbling hot Jacuzzi.
“One man Woman” is a straightforward no holds barred love ballad which sees Mya staying true to her roots as she sings her heart out on a 90’s tinged R&B ballad, as she sings reassurance to a love interest who has been hurt many times before. The harmonies and melody sees a welcome return to classic soul as Mya delivers a powerful vocal which is heartfelt and sincere. As the album nears to its end we are special guests at Mya’s roller disco to celebrate the “Circle of life” where the only requirements for entry is sequins to reflect perfectly off the giant glitter ball hanging above us in all its iridescent glory. The song is reminiscent of a Donna Summer groove and ends the album on a high.
We end the show as we began with Smoove Jones purring in our ears in her distinctive drawl to inform us she’s about to “Break us off with some afta hour slow jams” We are then given a taster of the afta hour slow jam session when Mya performs what can only be described as a lyrical prelude to a striptease. The lyrics are erotic and explore the anticipation of lovemaking “Our bodies work like a playground, slip n slide and goin’ round and round” and “When you kiss my lips, and then when you kiss my lips, my body trembles…..” if you doubted Mya had matured into a lyrical sex kitten and left the bubble gum R&B tracks behind this should diminish all doubt. Mya transforms into a sexy minx, teasing the audience when describing her sexual fantasies. As the outro fades we hear a steady chime which seems to be a countdown to climax which leaves you intrigued and filled with cravings to dive deeper into the afta hour’s session to see what lustful urges lies beneath.
Mya succeeds in gifting her fans with a sumptuous sorbet of flavours topped with honey sweet vocals that soar to candy floss clouds on which we can float away as we get lost in Mya’s heavenly harmonies.