In an age of auto-tune, recycled lyrics and the ubiquitous David Guetta (or at least David Guetta-esque) dance sound, from first listen alone, Monica's new single identifies her as a singer of R&B past.
Whether it's the classic Notorious B.I.G. sample or the verse by Lil Kim, Anything (To Find You) instantly recalls the 90s, an era when the Atlanta-native shot to fame with a handful of songs that give added definition to what true R&B is.
However, Anything would do best being filed under "hip hop soul," a street savvy, rap-ridden, raw form of R&B made most famous by Mary J. Blige, who is referenced early in the song's open, apparently just for the sake of paying homage.
In any case, the Missy Eliott-produced mid-tempo best fits guest Rick Ross, whose fresh flow and all-too-brief verse easily adds an update to the track's dated beat. Lil Kim, in just a few bars, brings appropriate levels of spice and sex that should help listeners remember why her talent once outshined any silly battles with rival female rappers.
Monica, in between the two guest appearances, does her best to try to own her song, which she eventually does with straight forward vocals that prove capable against a hard, hip hop beat that most of the current crop of female R&B/pop singers would probably falter on. In the end, the appeal of Anything is evident, but lacks luster due to a somewhat unmemorable chorus takes a little life out of the early buzz on New Life, the newlywed's forthcoming seventh studio album.
Last words: What may not wow, may still work.
Take a listen to "Anything" and share your thoughts below.