Mpress

Suddenly

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Mpress were trained by the same team that introduced the Backstreet Boys and Mandy Moore, but that was more about crafting their image than their music. Their sound is a mix of production techniques and songwriting influenced by the pop music boom of the late '90s, but with a bit of the flavor and feel of the previous pop music boom in the pre-Nirvana early '90s. This Jane Child-meets-Destiny's Child flavor works well on the dance songs, and the trio and their producers have a good feel for this aspect of the genre. "Ain't the One" may be the best single track here, its bouncing beat and fast-paced vocals reveal an effectively angry ode to a bad boyfriend. Elsewhere, the opener "Maybe" feels like an updated version of Amy Grant's "Good for Me" with its gorgeous chorus plastered over a funky pop beat. The mid-tempo tracks do not fair as well; for the most part they are forgettable and reveal the weaknesses in the songwriting. And the ballads are even more hit-and-miss; "For You" is a sappy but effective tear jerker, but the title track comes off as bland and uninspired. The formula for this sort of pop is actually pretty complicated, and it is a miracle that Mpress can make this genre of music sound as good as they do, considering the lack of big-name producers or major-label backing. There are definitely a few good songs on Suddenly, but this is still a pretty uneven album that shows a group with the potential to improve.

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