Christina Milian sure is cute. But on her third album, So Amazin', she wants to prove she is also capable of producing club-shaking anthems and lyrically dense ballads. The album largely works as a dance-pop diversion bolstered by strong production from Miami's Cool & Dre and Milian's melodic hooks. Although she won't be confused with Mary J. Blige, Milian does make a strong effort on So Amazin' to push herself to the next level.
So Amazin' is a largely up-tempo affair with most of its eleven tracks aimed at the clubs. That's a good thing. (Who really wants to hear the pop-leaning Milian sing cheesy ballads anyway?) Cool & Dre take ghetto themes and smooth them out into pop gems, particularly on the first two singles, "Say I" and "Who's Gonna Ride." The producers offer new takes on recent hip-hop tracks by the Game and Three 6 Mafia, adding a lighter feel that complements Milian's sweet voice. The title track is a potent slice of electro-grime, bouncing between two contrasting sounds similar to Busta Rhymes' "Touch It" but with much more sex appeal. The album's strongest track, "Twisted," bumps with the hottest club bangers but stands out because of Milian's stronger than expected vocal delivery, carefully layered melodies and simple hook. In fact, the vocals throughout the CD are pretty strong. Milian may not be known as an exceptional singer, but here she elevates the sometimes cheesy material through her charming vocals and youthful exuberance.
So Amazin' may not be the huge leap in artistic achievement she may have hoped for, but it is a step in the right direction. Milian has improved upon her strengths to craft an album that is secure in its own sound and content. So Amazin' proves that Milian is more than just a pretty face.
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