Mya Album Preview: ‘Liberation’

Since we’re caught up in Mya fever (Can you tell?), we thought we’d hit you off with a preview of her fourth album Liberation. The album has changed quite a bit since we first heard it last August. Noticeably absent from the current tracklisting are “Ayo” (Chris Henderson), “How We Carry” (J.R. Rotem), “Mercy” (Scott Storch), and “I Got That” (Scott Storch), the song with The Game which was one of our favorites. There were 13 tracks as of our listening session. Guests include Lil’ Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and Charli Baltimore. If you don’t know by now, Liberation drops June 26th.

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1. “Liberation”

2. “I Am” featuring Charli Baltimore
Produced by Kwame

This is a song that both the fellas and ladies can get into. You have Mya holding her ground and letting everyone know that she’s holding her man down. She doesn’t just want to be his woman, but she’s “that freak, that wife, that ride or die chick.” A pleasant surprise is female rapper Charli Baltimore (replacing Penelope Jones) making her way back on the scene with her consistent raw Philly flow. Both Mya and Charli compliment the throbbing beat with their vocals.

3. “Walka Not A Talka” featuring Snoop Dogg
Produced by J.R. Rotem

Look out for this song because it’s slated to be Mya’s second single. The song begins with the sound of a siren, which instantly grabs your attention. She addresses her listeners by saying, “I never should’ve left you.” Her sound is like an innocent little Betty Boop. It’s very soft and pure even though she’s singing, “Gs up! Throw it up!” The beat gives you a feel as if you’re in a California parking lot, pimping at the drive-in movie. Snoop adds on to that organic Cali ambiance.

4. “Still A Woman”
Produced by Scott Storch

You can’t help but pay attention to the powerful sound of the drums thumping through this song. When the drop comes, it’s very intense. Here Mya is letting it be known that she doesn’t work or play like your ordinary prissy woman. She declares that she’s “always on the hustle doing what a man would do.” “I need to be reminded that I’m still a woman,” she sings. Mya can definitely hang with the fellas.

5. “No Touchin’”
Produced by Detail

This track sounds like it has two cultural sounds combined into one. It has an ancient tribal beat and an oriental sound to it. Very different and unusual, which brings some diversity to the album. You can say that this is the most sexy and seductive song on the album. It’s very sensual.

6. “Lock U Down” featuring Lil’ Wayne
Produced by Scott Storch

Bringing Mya out of hiding was this single that’s currently being played on radio. The guitar plays a major part in the sound of the song. Mya is exposing what kind of man she wants and needs, and is also making it known that when she runs across that special guy, she’s going to lock him down. Her angelic voice goes well with Lil’ Wayne’s Southern accent. 2007’s #1 feature rapper holds his ground with his verse.

7. “Lights Go Off”
Produced by Carvin & Ivan

Another sexy track. Mya’s tone is low and very subtle. The strong use of the piano adds on to the sex appeal. She’s letting it be known that when the lights go off, there will be grown folk’s business going down. “The moment the lights go off, that’s when you hear the ooh’s and ahh’s.” Grown folks know what that means.

8. “Ridin’”
Produced by Tricky Stewart

This song is actually based on a true story that happened to Mya. She was in a relationship when she found out her man was cheating, so she went riding around town in her car looking for him. She begins the hard vocal song by saying, “I can’t believe this shit.” She sounds very frustrated and fed-up with the situation. This is definitely a song that most women can relate to.

9. “Switch It Up”
Produced by Carvin & Ivan

Mya is showing her man a different side of her. She’s being his waitress, his mistress, his everything, but not for long. She’s being all these things as a soon to be slap in the face for cheating on her. The beat is a hard hand clap which goes well with the hard lyrics. Mya wants to give her man something to remember her by before she leaves him. She continues to “Switch It Up” at the end of the song when she begins a little rap verse. This is something people aren’t used to hearing from Mya.

10. “Give a Chick a Hand”
Produced by Paula Pete

A new kind of futuristic crunk sound of music. It’s uncommon what Mya is doing in this song. She’s actually giving kudos to the woman who stole her man. She knows she’s hot, but wants to learn how the next woman actually got what was hers. A different approach to the typical “she stole my man” song.

11. “All in the Name of Love”
Produced by J.R. Rotem

Close your eyes when you listen to this song and think about what scary movie it reminds you of. You might be reminded of the chilling theme song from the classic scary movie Halloween. The drop is very hard even though Mya is singing very softly.

12. “Life Is Too Short”
Produced by Bryan-Michael Cox

In an instant you can tell that this is a B. Cox track. In the beginning the piano is the only sound you hear. The title speaks for itself. Mya isn’t going to dwell on anything bad that has happened in her past. She’s forgetting all those things that don’t matter. She strongly expresses that “life is too short for tears.” We won’t catch Mya crying over spilled milk anytime soon.

13. “Nothin’ At All”
Produced by Tricky Stewart

This track was a pleasant way to end the album. It sounds like snap music but in slow motion. Mya addresses plenty of issues that have occurred in her life in the industry. It’s very personal and true. She declares, “Everybody keeps saying how I fell off.” With that said and every other barrier put up in front of her, she’s happy and would never change a thing. In this ballad, she clearly is singing her soul out. You can hear and feel her passion. Every line of the song has meaning behind it, even when she sings, “What don’t kill you makes you stronger, stand up longer.” Absolutely a great way to end this intense album.

Reported by Franny Crooks in New York