No Half Steppin'

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Motown continued to make big moves in the early 2000s, trying to break new artists into the urban market, one being Sharissa. The smooth neo-soul singer is a little sassy, talking about the fellas and representing the ladies on No Half Steppin', her recording debut. The album features some laid-back production by the Henchmen collective; the Trackmasters also produce a track, the up-tempo album-opening title track, and so does Unit, the single "Any Other Night." Though most of the album's best songs are stacked at the beginning, there is one pleasant surprise late in the album amongst the filler: "Do We Really," a wonderful song by Gerald Issac built around samples from "Footsteps in the Dark," a classic Isley Brothers song that has been sampled endless times over the years, often to wonderful results such as this. While No Half Steppin' is a solid debut and sure to garner considerable respect, it's not stunning enough to put her in the same league as Mary J. Blige and Aaliyah, two time-tested divas Motown modeled Sharissa after.

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