Mykah Montgomery 

Me & U

Mykah Montgomery's soprano tones are soft, sensual, and cotton-candy sweet. Granddaughter of noted jazz pianist and vibraharpist Buddy Montgomery and grandniece of the late, legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery, Mykah made her recording debut fifteen years back with Emage, an Oakland singing trio that cut a nice yet little-noticed CD for Mercury. Emage modeled its sugary soul sound on that of another female vocal threesome, the Emotions of Chicago, famous for hits "So I Can Love You," "Best of My Love," and "Boogie Wonderland."

The Emotions influence also permeates Montgomery's first solo outing. It even includes a ballad titled "Best of My Love," written by one Theophilus "T" Coakley, although it doesn't much resemble the Emotions' 1977 hit, which was more similar to the Eagles' same-titled smash of three years earlier. Montgomery penned fourteen of the eighteen tunes on Me & U and also produced or arranged many. Several of the up-tempo numbers that open the disc suffer from melodic and lyric repetition and hackneyed drum programming. Ballads predominate, and Montgomery's overdubbed, high-pitched harmonies, when meshed with trebly synthesizer lines, too often leave behind a sticky goo.

She thankfully deviates from the format on a few numbers, dropping to a warm alto as sings against gorgeously layered harmonies and minimal instrumental support on "Look What You've Done to Me" and applying wide, Take 6-like jazz harmonies to the subtly funky "You Make it Real." (M.E. Records)

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