Musiq Soulchild

Aijuswanaseing

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With his 2000 debut album, Aijuswanaseing (I Just Want to Sing), Musiq Soulchild is sure to make an indelible mark on the R&B soundscape. Aijuswanaseing is a remarkable collection of songs that successfully showcases Soulchild's vocal talent and versatility as he crisscrosses the analogous styles of R&B, soul, and rap. On the up-tempo track "Girl Next Door," the singer demonstrates the smooth, rich texture of his voice. "Girl Next Door" is a romantic exchange that features the vocal prowess of Ayana of the duo Aaries. Tracks like the confident and playful "Just Friends" and the indelibly funky "My Girl" pick up the pace of the album, suggesting the possibility for future dancefloor remixes. The somber, soul-searching track "Mary Go Round" and the earnest sentiments on "Love" display Musiq's mellow, sincere side. The slow-paced wonder quality of "143" echoes a snippet of the style of fellow soul sista Erykah Badu (not a surprise since Musiq lists her high on his list of influences). There is also an apparent hint of the likes of Soulchild's idol Stevie Wonder in the rhythmic finger-snapping beat and experimental vocal riffs on "143," serving as evidence that Soulchild's voice is strong enough to stand on its own. The album is a casual yet valiant excursion that mirrors the many faces of a model swooner: a calm, cool, and collected attitude, mixed with a light sense of humor and a healthy serving of poise, swank, and sensitivity. Aijuswanaseing paints an aural portrait of this model combination which is best brought to life on the slyly flirtatious "Just Friends (Sunny)," which is featured on the Nutty Professor II soundtrack (Universal, 2000). Aijuswanaseing is the perfect backdrop for an intimate candlelit evening or just a casual stroll on a sunny afternoon.

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