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Moodring Review

by Andy Kellman

With all the emotional and stylistic range that an album called Moodring should present, Mya comes up with her best and most varied set of songs yet. The album's biggest highlights are almost completely different from one another, demonstrated right from the beginning; the opener, the strutting, boastful, Missy Elliott-produced "My Love Is Like...Wo" is immediately followed by the yearning, elegant "Falling." The constant changes of direction can be a little jarring on the first couple plays, but they eventually become one of the album's charms. Even the two expectedly strong Jam & Lewis productions, the blissed-out "Anatomy 1On1" ("Let's make a child") and the stressed-out "Late" ("Should've been more careful when I let him rock my boat") are at two ends. Most surprising of all is "Whatever Bitch," a stage-ready booty track in which Mya shows off her foul-mouthed catty side. Two big (mis)steps back threaten to kill her momentum, however, and they both come at the very end of this very long album: the bloodless cover of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" is worse than you could possibly imagine, and the awkward inclusion of "Real Compared to What," the soft drink ad that originated as a civil rights/Vietnam protest song, was a very bad idea.

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