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Ashanti: The Declaration

2008/06/04 04:30:00
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By Ashante Infantry Entertainment Reporter

Ashanti
The Declaration (Universal Motown)
(out of 4)

The idea here is that for her fourth disc R&B singer Ashanti has thrown off the shackles of her mentor Irv Gotti and The Inc.'s in-house production team in favour of hitmakers such as Babyface, Jermaine Dupri and Rodney Jerkins. But this album still doesn't justify the 27-year-old New York native's million-selling career. Her vocals are pleasant, but distinctive for only that they lack – Beyoncé's power, Rihanna's novelty, Keyshia Cole's sass.

Halfway through the disc she morphs into Janet Jackson, cooing Prince-like eroticisms on "Girlfriend" and "Things You Make Me Do."

There are only two songs worth downloading: "Body On Me" which features Nelly and Akon, reinforcing the notion that Ashanti succeeds best as a hook singer who came to fore on duets with Fat Joe and Ja Rule; and the bouncy, attitude-laden Dupri-produced "Good Good" which contains elements of Michael Jackson's "The Girl Is Mine" and should've been the lead single.

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