Ashanti Music Review: The Declaration

Thursday, 26 June 2008 18:54 Written by  Tiffani Alexander
Ashanti recently released her first album in four years, adequately titled The Declaration via The Inc. record label. The follow-up album to her last less than stellar effort, Concrete Rose, is about womanhood, relationships, and empowerment. The project features various productions from outside of The Inc. family, and showcases a strong vocal range from the singer-song writer that may surprise some people.


With a hit single in the bag with the jilted love themed “The Way That I Love You” – a track whose domestic violence “promoting” video has caused some to question the good girl image of the Princess of the palace that Irv built.  The high energy, almost angry song (apparently Ashanti was watching the Oxygen show Snapped when she wrote the lyrics) resonates with anyone who has read a text message from the “other woman” or seen her with her own eyes.  Showing impressive vocal rang, Ashanti sings: “After all of the times that we tried/I found out we were living a lie/And after all of this love that we made/I know now you don't love me the same.”

The lyrics, unfortunately, play out the feelings of many women (and men) and that is a sign of a strong writer––the ability to touch people and make them feel what you are feeling. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling Ms. Douglas!

Ashanti has been known as a great writer since her first (be it heavily sampled) self-titled album dropped almost six years ago.  She continues in that tradition with co-writing credits throughout The Declaration, and although she is still officially on The Inc., you won’t find Irv’s name in the credits, nor the same old list of producers. This time around the beauty worked with Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins, Jermaine Dupri, Akon, Babyface, and LT Hutton, who has the most credits on the album. The album also features collaborations with boyfriend Nelly, Akon, and Robin Thicke.

One of the standouts on the album is that collaboration with Mr. Thicke. “Things You Make Me Do,” a smooth, sexy track that has Ashanti singing the things that all us ladies say when we are THERE, and you all know where I mean. She purrs: “I'll be your wife/I'll be the air you breathe/I'll be your drug, do anything to me/I'll wash your dishes, blowin' kisses in the bubbles babe/I'll be your bad girl that loves to get in trouble, babe.”

Yeah, you been there!

Other note-worthy tracks include the Dupri-produced club track “Good Good,” the bass heavy “Girlfriend,” “Struggle,” a song about how hard it is to stay in love once you find it, and the title track “The Declaration.”

Despite her critics who unfairly compare her to the Beyonce’s and the yes, the Rhianna’s and the Cassie’s, Ashanti is declaring her spot on the charts with this new album. On ”The Declaration” she belts, “Yes I’m still here.” And it looks like she has no plans on going anywhere.

Tiffani Alexander

Tiffani Alexander

Publisher and Editor in Chief of (GMO), Tiffani Alexander came to Chicago in the fall of 2004 to pursue her Master's degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. Tiffani earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of
 Maryland, College Park. She has worked for both Cygnus Business Media and Maher Publishing before embarking on her dream to start her own magazine. In addition to publishing GMO bi-monthly, Tiffani freelances and works as an editor on a legal journal in Washington, DC.


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