Dondria

Dondria vs. Phatfffat

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Discovered on YouTube by So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri, Dondria is vocally a dead ringer for Beyonce but her material recalls the late ‘90s, “one-namers” like Brandy, Monifah, and Monica. It’s an appealing mix as the singer smoothly delivers a set of love songs that run the gamut from independent woman flirting in the club (“Shawty Wus Up”) to bubblegum R&B ballads full of yearning (“You’re the One”). The whole “Vs” between Dondria and her username "Phatfffat" never really pays off and that laptop on the cover shouldn’t be interpreted as any kind of Janelle Monae-styled futurism, but in her way, the singer is a breath of fresh air in 2010 as she’s auto-tune free and seems unaware of most other slick gimmicks. Those who had Aaliyah hanging in their locker or thought Hilfinger was the sweatshirt of choice will have a natural affinity for the album, but anyone for a taste for the smooth sound of the ‘90s should check this pleasing throwback.

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