CD review

R&B singer Alonda Rich. Photo by Michelle G.

So Provocative
Mantra Records

On November 28, 2008, Alonda Rich gave an impressive performance at Hollywood Casino in Grantville. The bashful singer, who moved from Williamsport to Harrisburg, was one of the opening acts for the Denm Inc.-promoted Jaguar Wright concert. During Rich’s performance, she sang her song “ So Amazing” and SWV’s “Weak.”

Released earlier this year on a physical CD, So Provocative is now available for purchase on MP3. The album offers song titles that are metaphors for ups and downs in relationships. Executive producer Myron Golden and songwriter/music producer Burnie Stevenson layer the CD’s production with Rich’s silky soft vocals and a backdrop of piano keys, hand claps and strings. The CD’s urban-pop sound suggests famous female singers, such as Keri Hilson and Jordin Sparks.

So Provocative kicks off with “Celebrity Girl,” an airy song about being treated well like a star in a relationship. And Rich reciprocates on the track: “And when the lights go down/there ain’t nobody around/I’m playing my song to a crowd of one,” she says. Although some of So Provocative’s songs have different musical arrangements, they gel effortlessly. Take the standout slow songs, “Prince Charming” and “Don’t Break Us Up,” for instance.  With its heavy bass line, “Prince Charming” has an R&B feel, while “Don’t Break Us Up” is a radio-friendly ballad.

Rich speeds up the tempo on “Addicted,” a dance track with a Rihanna-esque production, and  “Paparazzi,” which tells a story about an obsessed significant other. “Switchin’ Lanes,” is a club banger that incorporates Atlanta’s “Ay!” chant. With So Provocative, Rich, 19, proves she has a bright future in the music biz.

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