I've been on the road and now I'm back again', this is the first line on "Goin' Out", the opening track of Faith Evans' eagerly awaited fourth album. It pretty much sums up the attitude of the whole album, heralding a new beginning for Faith. She's is in a happy place, inside and out, and it shows.
The first single release from the album "Again" gives us an insight into Faith's life in her three year hiatus. This track highlights her growth and pain during this period, 'I wouldn't take away the rain cos I know it made me who I am';the singer has been through some tough timesand hasnow proudly reemerged stronger on the other side.
The First Lady boasts productions by the likes of The Neptunes, Jermaine Dupri, Todd Russaw (Mr Faith Evans) as well as a romantic duet - "Ever Wonder" - with Mario Winans. Faith's musical range is wide and varied, from up-tempo R&B to more traditional soul, there's a depth to her talent that many up and coming artists can only dream about. I would hate to think that you would have to suffer great pain to make great music, but on the evidence here it sure does help.
"I Don't Need It" has a distinctive rare groove flava and rides over the Jones Girls classic "Nights Over Egypt". "Mesmerized" takes us even further back in time, its funky 60s beat and Aretha style vocals scream (very) old Skool Diva! The final track "Hope", featuring Twista, ends the album on an uplifting note. A fitting finale to an emotional journey.
TheFirstLady reflects a mature and wise Faith; it comes straight from the heart and is personal, sexy and deeply soulful - this is an album for the grown ups. In her own words, 'Nobody can do what Faith Evans does like Faith Evans does'. --Denise Boyd
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