Music Recommendation – Single – James Fortune & FIYA ft. Monica and Fred Hammond, “Hold On”

hold-onI do not think I have written about a Gospel song yet, despite my love for its second cousin, twice removed of a genre known as RnB/Soul. Hold On does a beautiful job of combining both RnB and Gospel and makes a passionate but low-key and soulful Gospel song with a subtle message.

Being honest, it took me a couple of minutes to realize the song was a Gospel track. The song is easy to listen to, especially during the easy chorus. Monica’s vocals are smooth, though harmonized throughout the song and overkilled a bit. Fred Hammond’s aid towards the end of the song is probably the most enjoyable part, and the song ends on a positive note.

The song gets more and more upbeat as it continues, though not by a wide margin. The voice and talking of James Fortune in the beginning of the song, while motivating, can take away from the enjoyment of the musical aspect of the song quite a bit; but otherwise nothing really stands out as potential for ruining a good song.

So overall, I would rate the song at:

8.75/10

Hold On is a lovely and elegant track while staying soulful and enjoyable. Not a wide range of listeners may love this song, but those who enjoy Soul and Gospel could easily enjoy this song. You can hear it and watch the corresponding music video below:

-Austin Heath

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Throwback Thursday – Brandy and Monica, The Boy Is Mine

The_Boy_Is_MineBack before the whole “side-hoe” thing was actually a thing, The Boy Is Mine was the women’s Same Girl; It empowered women who were cheated on and combined both efforts to get back at the cheating man. I am a dude and this song empowers the crap out of me. Of course, this song would be followed up over a decade later by one of my all-time favorites, It All Belongs To Me.

I love Brandy’s music now, and though this was not the first Brandy track I had ever heard, it did influence my interest in her music. The way she has branched out into EDM/Dance has been remarkable and worth noting. Monica’s voice has a unique sound to it, but does not beat Brandy’s vocals in my honest opinion.

This young vocalists sound lovely on this mellow RnB hit, and create a great example of the excellence that was late 90’s RnB/Soul. If I had to rate it now, I would give it a 9.25/10. The vocal range is still a bit rough and choppy due to the still-growing voices of both singers. The harmony on the hook is still my favorite part though.

You can relive the 90’s glory and enter a time of Spice Girls, shameful outfits and big-ass phones below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Monica and Brandy, It All Belongs To Me

I remember when this song came out in 2011 and it was my jam. Seriously, I listened to this everyday for months. Well after hearing it again recently I’m hooked. This break-up track is one of my favorite songs again, and I’ll tell you why.

I have always loved the sound of Brandy’s voice, and this song only showcases it better. Monica also sounds pretty incredible, but the both of them together make such an amazing RnB sound that I consider this a legendary collaboration. While the beat is subtle, it adds to the RnB effect that these queens bring.

In the end, I really love Brandy in this song, and while Monica sounds great too, it feels as though they are trying to dominate each other by the end of the song. The vocals could just use some better coordination is all, but that is mainly only after the first two minutes.

Even though it seems a bit competitive, I love the sound of their singing almost against each other at times, as they both have elegant voices. Brandy on the bridge is probably my favorite part though, but both really bring an incredible part to the track. For example, while I like Brandy’s parts better, I don’t think the song would be the same without Monica, and vice-versa.

Overall, I would rate the song at 9.75/10. I have an extreme fondness for this track and it lands in my all-time favorites. I seriously recommend a listen if you have not already heard it. I apologize for sharing a rather well-known song, but it does deserve some extra spotlight:

-Austin Heath