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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
Fulfilling the title, Monica proves she's still standing fifteen years after "Miss Thang" on this album, her sixth studio effort. More than anything however, the "Everything To Me" singer seems to have honed in on her strengths and left the tricks to youngsters unlike the 2006 effort "The Makings Of Me".

Filled with songs about getting to love, appreciating a significant other, being at a crossroads in a relationship and even getting out of a bad one, Monica leaves no stone unturned when it comes to relationships on "Still Standing".

Kicked off with the title track "Still Standing," Monica taps Ludacris for the album's lone collaboration, leaving listeners with an empowering and truthful account of her past, singing "see this is more than just a song to me `cause I been up against the ropes, everything you're going through I been there before". While the record was first heard early 2009, it is still one of the album's stand out songs, catching Monica near her best as a strong songstress telling an empowering story. That theme, which fits Monica well, can be heard on another standout track titled "Believing In Me".

The final track on the album, "Believing In Me" features Monica finding the strength to leave a one way relationship, meaning the man she fell in love with does not love her the same way. Produced by Stargate, "Believing In Me" is both relatable yet fitting for Monica who sings "didn't know that I was selling my soul to someone who didn't care at all," before delivering the words "I've moved on and I'm strong. I'm going back to the place where I know I belong.. cause I'm right and you're wrong, this time I'm believing in me.... I'm never letting go of my dreams."

While Monica spends time taking a stance on songs like "Still Standing" and "Believing In Me," the majority of the album is spent adoring the love of her life. Before we get there however, she takes a detour with Ne-Yo and Polow Da Don on "Here I Am" and "Stay or Go". Unfortunately, both songs seem to go nowhere. The latter of the two especially, "Stay or Go" is surprisingly the least attractive song on the album, which is even more surprising with Ne-Yo credited. On the song, Monica sings "You either wanna be with me or you don't. Let me know what you're going to do cause I'm not waiting". "Here I Am," as seen on the reality series "Monica: Still Standing" is credited to Polow Da Don. While the song, like "Stay or Go," starts out well and is more `contemporary' than others, it fails as the seconds roll on with lyrics like "Why don't you come and pick me up and take me to the crib and do the things that I have told you he won't," followed by "boy stop tripping cause it's just me and you". Neither are horrible songs however, just not the best. These songs, along with the Missy Elliott produced 80s like track "If You Were My Man (Betcha)," are simply okay, not thrilling or songs you would run and share with a friend.

The remainder of "Still Standing" is Monica at her best. Perhaps because of an admiration for the father of her children during the album's recording, Monica comes off soulful, truthful and at peace on "Everything To Me," "One In A Lifetime," "Mirror," "Superman" and "Love All Over Me". All timeless, these songs are perhaps what listeners expect from Monica at this point in time. Not trying to gravitate towards today's pop-friendly R&B records or earn a cosign from Hip Hopper's with another "Everytime The Beat Drop," Monica delivers here.

"Everything To Me," the album's official first single, leads the pack as a classic and timeless ballad about a love that is second to none ("you're everything to me, the air that I breathe.."). Monica then takes it up a notch on "One In A Lifetime," produced by Los Da Mystro. A record that could easily be another single, "One In A Lifetime" is comparable to "Mirror," another stand out track and potential hit single.

Produced by Jim Jonsin, "Mirror" is lyrically and not just vocally sound with Monica singing "I used to have my share of lonely days beneath the makeup and the darkest shades. But ever since you came I know the meaning of true love again. It's not the bags or the trips or the clothes. It's not the fans or the sold-out shows. It's the way that you see through my soul." Laying it down, Monica goes on to sing "When I look in the mirror I don't recognize the girl all about the glitter, cause now I see you by my side. Now nothing's ever going to be the same, forget the fortune you can keep the fame."

Picking up where she left off on "Everything To Me," Monica admires her man, comparing being with him to a movie, in this case "Superman," singing "waking up with you is just like waking up next to superman." Produced by Bryan Michael Cox, "Superman" is laid back in comparison to the last two songs, but nonetheless seamless.

Last but not least, the Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox produced "Love All Over Me" rounds out "Still Standing" as another laid back, yet soulful track filled with admiration.

As she sings on "Love All Over Me," "you showered me with a new beginning, now I'm clean"... "Still Standing" is a new beginning for Monica. A solid effort filled with mature songs about getting to love, appreciating a significant other, being at a crossroads in a relationship and even getting out of a bad one, "Still Standing" should keep Monica up for some time.

If you must download instead of picking up the whole album, "Mirror," "Everything To Me," Superman," and "One In a Lifetime" are the top picks, with "Love All Over Me," "Still Standing" and "Believing In Me" as bonus tracks you might want to grab legally.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
This is a very solid project. It is a ballad strong album filled with beautiful expressions of love. With tracks such as; Here I Am, Love All Over Me, Everything To Me, and Mirror, Monica proves you can still stay relevant while still singing from within. While the album may have lukewarm tracks such If You Were My Man and Superman, tracks like Still Standing, One in a Life Time, and Stay or Go makes Monica's fans understand why they fell in love with the girl who is now a woman 15 years ago. This is an album you can virtually listen from beginning to end without hesitation. I rate this album an A -. Well done Monica.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
Monica has delivered perfection with this album. I am truly speechless. As a loyal fan over the years, I have watched and witnessed the progression of Miss Thang and Monica always delivers greatness. Still Standing will be grabbing Grammy's, get your gown ready Monica. The album left me speechless. If I could give it ten stars, I would but they only allow five. I wish you all the best Monica, you deserve every bit of success you get. Let me just say this, this album was well worth the wait. Monica represents and is a major part of real R & B music that was beginning to fade away, but seems to be coming back for 2010 with releases from Monica, Usher, Toni Braxton, Fantasia, and more. I love all of the songs on the album, they are all favorites! Support REAL Music, Support Monica and buy this album, you will be more than glad that you did. I promise! THIS IS PERFECTION! PURE PERFECTION! :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2010
It took about 3 years, but Monica is finally back with a new album that's a fresh and welcome release in today's stale "been there, done that" music scene. I watched bits of her BET reality show from time to time and couldn't wait for the new material. I'm happy to say Miss Thang did not disappoint. A few misses here and there, but a solid record overall.

The title track and theme song of the reality show details the struggles Monica's been through and how she's used the pain to keep her going. "I been up against ropes/Everything you're going through/I been there before, seen them all come/And I seen them all go/You can bet your last that/My head won't hit the floor, never/And I'm still standing!" Love the rap from Ludacris (did you know Monica's his cousin?), although I don't care for the generic hip-hop background much.

The lush Once In A Lifetime is a realization that the one you walked away from was "the one". "And I can't believe that I almost missed the signs/Right in front of my eyes/And now I know the love is real, its hard to say why." Stay Or Go is the ultimatum given to a wishy washy boyfriend that's worked Miss Thang's nerve for the last time. "So let me know/Whatcha gonna do/Stay or go/Cuz I'm not waiting/Boy, yes or no/I'm about to decide for you/Stay or go!"

Lead single Everything To Me marvels at and luxuriates in the love of a good man with starry-eyed lyrics like "You're everything to me/The air that I breathe/Sign so I'll see, oh Lord/You're everything to me!" The Deniece Williams sample is gorgeous! The funky 80's retro feel of If You Were My Man will make you break out the Cabbage Patch, Running Man, and Roger Rabbit. The Missy Elliott shout-outs might annoy some, but I like them. Monica's flow is nice too. "See, baby, she can't love you like I do/She just a chick tryna be like me/You wanna go and hang around all them crazy fools/Cuz in ya face she shake her booty/See, baby, that's not I/I'm a classy girl/Guaranteed boy to rock ya world/So let her go, let her go/I'm just lettin' ya know/I'm not a hoe call me your black pearl!" *SNAP*

It took me a while to warm up to Mirror, but it's definitely grown on me. Although slightly weakened from a generic clubby production, Monica's vocals and the message of the song got me hooked. "When I look at myself in the mirror/I don't have to feel ashamed/Now it couldn't be much clearer/I'll never have to search again/When I look at myself in the mirror/I don't even recognize/The girl all about the glitter/Cuz now I sit by my side/When I look at myself in the mirror."

Monica's fluid vocals work it's magic with the hazy background of Here I Am. Fed up with a negligent boyfriend, Miss Thang lets a better guy know she's interested in getting with him. "So why don't you come/Pick me up and take me to the crib/And do the things/That I have told you he won't do?/So now you know/Baby boy, stop trippin'/Cuz it is just me and you!" Superman isn't as strong, but it's still enjoyable with sweet references to the fictional superhero. "It's a bird, it's a plane/It's Superman/I can be your Lois Lane."

The glossy ballad Love All Over Me is absolutely stunning. Praising a new man for showing her that true love is real, Monica sings "Took me by surprise when you ran up on me/I came to life baby in that moment/You put your hands on my heart and baby/now it beats!" Her voice gets a chance to soar without a trace of unnecessary melisma or runs. Excellent second single! The downtempo acoustic closer Believing In Me basks in the freedom gained after ending a painful relationship. "And I'm glad that you're gone/Cuz your not what I need/I'm believing in me/I've moved on/And I'm strong/Going back to the place where I know I belong/Cuz I'm right and your wrong/You were not what I need/I'm finally believing in me!"

As if the girl wasn't amazing already, she's done a great job with Still Standing. That voice of hers is even richer than before and that's a major plus! The album's strength is it's R&B/Soul roots tied to the 80's and 90's. The golden age of music imo. Welcome back, Miss Thang! We missed you, girl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2010
I listen to a little bit of everything, pretty much whatever catches my ear, and since the 90's I've lost interest in Monica. I've always found her to be a bit boring. However, the reality show sparked my interest a little bit and subsequently my mother purchased the album which I immediately put on my iPod.

In the beginning, I actually liked that album a lot. We listened to it in the car and I couldn't find a song I hated. The 90's nostalgia that this album gives off excited me and made me want to have a copy of the album for myself.

Upon listening to it later though, I found that my initial excitement died down significantly.

This album seems to suffer in many areas. First off I will say that I disagree with those that say that the album is full of filler. That is not the case. The songs all have about the same amount of production quality and if you watched the show a lot of thought was put into picking the tracks.

The album seems to suffer though from tired lyrics: Few songs stand out because they're all roughly about the same things, and unstructured melodies: listen to the melodies of "Here I am" and then listen to everything well as a lack of creativity: "If You Were My Man" could've been so much more than it was. Choruses at times are boring and don't stand out from the song: "Still Standing" is an example of this. The album ends up coming off as an okay listen at first but once every song is heard only a few stand out which is sad considering that there are only 10 tracks to begin with.

"Here I am" and "Once In A Lifetime" and "Superman" were standouts for me. I will however point out that the only song to truly shine through was "Here I am." Lyrically it might be the same tired old theme of leaving her man for someone better, but lyrically the song flows well, it has beautiful melodies and it builds nicely. It is overall a well written song and pretty much makes the flaws in all the other tracks on the album apparent. Monica's voice is also very beautiful in the song especially in the opening verse.

"If You Were My Man" stands out for all the wrong reasons. They basically took the original song "Betcha She Don't Love You" by Evelyn Champagne and practically just sung over it as is was. The theme of the song was practically even the same. But the chorus was horrible. She would have faired so much better if she had just covered the original song. I was disappointed seeing as this song has such a good beat. Definitely could've been better.

If Monica truly wants to stand out she first off needs to stick to one producer. The mixture of producers didn't hurt her too badly seeing as the album is actually fairly consistent. But having one producer, and a talented on at that, would increase her chances of having developing stronger songs. Constantly working with one person would allow her to develop more as an artist as opposed to just going from one to the next and singing over their beats. One person would be able to focus on her throughout the songwriting process and point out her strengths and weaknesses. Monica, on the show, seemed to put her all into this effort and if that's the best she has then she really still has a lot of growing to do as an artist. There is a way of creating serious R&B songs without trying to sound like contemporary artists and this is not it. The album suffers most in it's songwriting and even if Monica didn't write all of the songs she still heard them, approved them and sang them and that says a lot right there.

Hopefully future efforts will not only feature quality control on production but songwriting as well. The songwriting, lyrics and melodies are average at best and bring this album down. A year from now i'll only remember "Here I am." and the rest will be just as forgettable as Monica's previous efforts.

Download: "Here I Am", "Superman", "Once In A Lifetime"
Preview: "Love All Over Me", "Believing In Me", "Everything To Me"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
Wow!...pretty speechless!... pre-ordered and just knew I wasn't going to be disappointed!...however somehow I am! It may be that the entire album is 40 minutes or maybe the song content or just an overall expectation that wasn't met. I know many detested the previous cd; however I truly adored it. It was what I was thinking and what I was feeling and what I needed to hear at that time. And yes I can relate to this cd very much so because my life has transition, but it's kinda a bore. I wanted a cd that I can play while my daughter is in the car, I can clean up to, and I can work-out to. I got two out of three. In saying that it's missing a twenty-something vibe...some energy. I am by no means saying go pop/rap, but you can express your love and your life's gratitude with some upbeatness. (yes i know it isn't a word) Anyhow it's better than okay, but not great. I personally love everything to me, superman, love all over me, and still standing. For those that believe she ruined a classic. You can only ruin a classic when you cover the exact same concept and pretty much sing the exact words. Believe it or not most songs either r&b/rap are covers from classics. Btw her voice is still incredible and it is still able to deliver in such a spectacular way that it truly makes you feel what she is saying. I just wish that what she was saying was slightly different, longer versions, and the production was a tad bit different. Well...thx for reading...have a nice day.

*It deserves a 3.5, but was we know that isn't an option. Also if you compare her to most standard r&b artist her cd is a classic, but comparing her to older artists who are classics in their own rights..well she feel short. I believe if she mixed songs from this album and her last album than she would have a straight classic album to me. I personally believe sideline ho should be a number one ring tone.answer tone..lmao!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2010
I am so glad to have a real R&B singer back. This girl can SANG! Monica brings it with this cd. Ladies and Gents you will be glad you purchased this cd, she doesn't dissapoint. She gave us "everything"!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2010
Very talented young woman who has been thru much and her music reflects that.
Her voice has matured with her and is as strong as ever.

No one sounds like her.

This project though long in coming is good. I'd like it better if not so many
"electronics" were used. She has the type of voice that compliments real instruments
and well written melodies (music).

Nevertheless.. .if you're a Monica fan already, you'll enjoy this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2010
This is a wonderful CD. I have been waiting for Monica to come out with something new and this CD is well worth the wait. She has matured and it reflects in her music. She has such a beautiful and stong voice. My favorite tracks are Still Standing, Everything to Me & If You Were My Man. I watched Monica's Reality tv show and was inspired by her spirtuality, determination and past and present experiences. Great Job Monica!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2010
The album was okay. You can defintely tell that she's been out the game for a minute now and it shows in this album. Still love her though.
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