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Monet: Lifesize Mirror

Entertainment One

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Smooth jazz can be a blindingly boring affair, less compelling than wine sips and cocktail chatter. Flutist/singer Monet breaks trend, delivering a smooth jazz and soul project sprinkled with personality, if faithful to the genre's romanticism and mellow moods. Monet's mid-tempo, heavy, socially conscious project is energized with thought-provoking messages like the title track and the inquisitive "Y R So Many." Occasionally hampered by underproduction and repetitive refrains as heard on "It's Your Life," the NYC-based flutist alternately rises to the top of her game on such sultry fare as "Vain" and the rhythmic Afro-Latin "Free (Song for Mom)" featuring Siji. Electronic production enriches tunes such as "Walk With Me." Still, producer Angela Johnson ultimately yields the finest vocal performance out of the husky vocal stylist on the more organic "That's Just the Way," proving that the unexpected is just Monet's way. (3 out of 5 stars)

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