Album Review: Ashanti - 'The Vault' - Celebrity Bug


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Album Review: Ashanti - 'The Vault'

'The Vault' is a collection of 12 never-before-released recordings penned by Grammy Award-winning, platinum-selling R&B songstress Ashanti in 2001, when she was signed exclusively to AJM Records.

With a bulk of the material already seeing the light of day in the form of her albums and her poetry book, Ashanti, personally, has nothing to do with the release instead its simply a bid from Irv Gotti and the label to cash in on the singer's fan base.

The pleasurable, 'Don't Need You', takes a early reminisce of Aaliyah's 2000 radio hit, 'I Don't Wanna', taken from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack, but whereas Aaliyah chooses to embrace her man, Ashanti opts for the exact opposite. 'Show You', which previously saw release as one of the new tracks on the singer's remix album, 'Collectables by Ashanti', contains newly penned verses, but still remains as much of a joy to listen to as the first. The melodic 'No Words', shines with the existence of its Sade influence, was also included in the singer's poetry book Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love, is purely a winner that shows Ashanti in total ecstasy of her man.

The soulful, 'Where I Stand', is a rare gem that shows the genuine writing talent the singer truly possesses and is definitely the standout track among the set. On the negative side, it also shows that singer doesn't have the most accurate niche for picking out hit singles, because if she did she would have never let this slide through the cracks. Other tracks on the grounds of solid include: the midtempo 'Saw Your Face', the upbeat 'To the Club', 'Gotta Get Out', and the revamped 'Girls in the Movies', which showcases a different arrangement, but is basically the same stellar track that was featured on her Grammy winning debut album.

'Imagine Life', starts the set off on a bad note, as the singer,expresses her devotion to her spouse in the words a third grader is capable of drafting. Flo-rida and J Star, assist on 'Let's Do Something Crazy' and 'Pretty Little Flower' respectively, but neither rappers do anything to keep the tracks from being any less impressive than they would be had their verses been axed. 'Satisfy', shows the singer trying to take an upbeat route, as she chimes:

"can you get me crunk crunk and make my body jump jump jump"

Failing miserably and sounding more like a fool than anything. 'Mrs. So So', is another sub par track, where she blasts her man for not being there when she needed him.

Overall, 'The Vault' does house some good tracks, especially 'Where I Stand', on the other hand, the bad, just like the singer's performances, are so amateurish and teenage like that it realms of high school days (and not in a good way). In her defense, these recordings are from 2001 and if the singer had it her way they probably would have never surfaced, and in a few cases, I can't say I blame her.

3 out of 5

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