Ramiyah

Ramiyah

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AllMusic Review by

The PAJAM production team of Walter Kearney, Paul D. Allen, and J. Moss makes no bones about who's in charge of this recording -- them. It is their voices that are heard at the outset, discussing the project, before they bother to mention the four teenage girls from Detroit they have chosen as vocalists, in Monkees or Backstreet Boys fashion, for stereotyped qualities that they freely enumerate. Sherise Staten is "hyper," Tracy Bryant "soulful," Stephanie Bonner "street," and DeLaurian Burton "glamorous." That established, the producers apply familiar hip-hop musical tracks for the girls to sing over in standard hip-hop fashion, with chanted choruses interlaced with expressive solos. The genre for this music is "gospel" in the sense that the lyrics refer to God instead of a boyfriend, although much of the time that's hard to tell. The girls can sing, of course, but not so distinctively that any of them stick out from the others or from the musical style in general. This is utterly formulaic music from the factory constructed by Mathew Knowles for his daughter Beyoncé's group, Destiny's Child, and released on his Music World Music imprint. His younger daughter, Solange Knowles, gets writing and production credits here and there, and his wife, Tina, is credited as stylist, a job that is of utmost importance on this kind of project. God does get praised, but religion is largely a side issue here.

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