Amanda Blank - I Love You
The anticipation surrounding the debut album from Philly rapper/singer Amanda Blank has been growing to a fever pitch. Well, I Love You has finally hit the streets.
Sometimes though, the hype can be an artists worst enemy. Anyone who's been excited by the concept of Blank's (who has worked with heavyweights like Spank Rock, Ghostface Killah, Santigold, and M.I.A.) album may be in for significant disappointment.
Rather than the inspired, fresh hip hop that we've expected, Blank gives us mostly generic mid-tempo cuts. With the exception of the pumping "Gimme What You Got" and the disco flash of "Big Heavy", the tracks are stuck hopelessly in a humdrum loop.
In what's become a true hip hop tradition (cliche?), Blank borrows liberally from early '80s artists to construct several of her tracks. "Make Up" is the most straightforward, a fairly faithful Prince cover. Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" serves as the basis for "Might Like You Better" (you know it 'I might like you better if we slept together'). Unfortunately the resulting effort is just messy and confused. More intriguing is "A Love Song", an infectious modernization of LL Cool J's "I Need Love".
Blank's vocals are a strength of the album. They are sultry, adding to the sexually-charged atmosphere of the music. This she does far more effectively than the last Peaches album. I'm not terribly bothered that she actually spends more time singing than rapping.
When all is said and done however, one can't help but feel disappointed by I Love You.
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