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    Mon, 17 Nov 2008 00:10:45

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    Album Reviews: Shontelligence by Shontelle

    Shontelle must be the only R&B/pop singer who can rhyme the slang phrase "witchu" with "Jimmy Choo," which is the name of the high-end, shoe design house.

    But that's the kind of yin-yang album that Shontelligence is. This songbird has a better-than-average voice, and she uses it to address the everyday fashionista on "T-Shirt" as easily as she makes a pointed political statement on "Plastic People." While one might think that a pop record can't effectively address topical, social issues and extol the virtues of designer labels in one fell swoop, think again. Women today are dynamic and can have an appreciation for material things as well as a depth of mind. Shontelle was actually headed for law school with a report card full of straight A's before her music career took off, so she's certainly proving that theory to be true. Additionally, Shontelle's songs are as infectious as an STD on prom night, and she’ll hook you with any and all of the songs on Shontelligence.

    This Barbados-born singer–lest we forget, Rihanna also hails from the same nation and actually discovered her fellow Barbadian—sounds somewhat Americanized on Shontelligence. But despite that fact, she and her team of producers mix it up and let tropical, reggae rhythms shine through on "Roll It," which is a reworked version of a song that Shontelle actually wrote for Barbadian singer Alison Hinds, which became an international hit during its original bow. "I Crave You" also allow the album's tendency to circle around a decidedly exotic vibe. Groove is a key element of Shontelligence, and it's certainly complemented by Shontelle's soulful voice. It's also a decidedly female record, written for the girls and geared for the young girl who dreams of becoming a pop princess and doesn't believe in sacrificing herself, her goals or her dreams. Shontelle is still in the relatable stage, showing young girls that you can sing for your supper and have "the life." The Shontelle package isn't sugar-coated, but it's a long ways away from being Britney Spears-trampy. Shontelle is a good girl gone glam, and Shontelligence could veritably push her neck and neck with her old friend Rihanna. Let the friendly catfight for diva dominance begin!

    — Amy Sciarretto

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