Monifah's second album, 1998's Mo'hogany, featured the biggest hit of her career thus far, the infectious Top Ten pop hit "Touch It," which sampled Laid Back's mid-1980s hit "White Horse." The supposedly titillating song, whose video made it come off as more campy than anything else, broadened her audience to include dancefloor fanatics and popsters, but, despite the attention, the album failed to produce another substantial hit. Mo'hogany does incorporate a wide spectrum of sounds and styles, including rock & roll on the awkwardly titled "Monifah's Anthem/Bad Girl" and "Why," plenty of R&B ballads (of which most are lumped together in the middle of the album, weighing it down considerably) including the album highlights "Suga Suga" and the string-enhanced "Have You Ever Been Loved," irresistible funk on the album's best track, the bouncy "What's The Deal," hip-hop/soul on "Whatcha Gonna Do," and gospel on "I'm Loving You," a track while truly allows Monifah's vocals to shine. Despite some dull moments and less-than-inspired lyrics, Mo'hogany winds up being a decent and relatively enjoyable album.
by Jose F. Promis