You would expect that an album titled More Issues Than Vogue would vaguely resemble Britney Spears in the early 2000s: fun, spontaneous and fucking wild. Instead, K. Michelle’s latest 12-track album vaguely resembles the terrain of Kansas: flat, repetitive and prone to causing drowsiness.
K. Michelle begins her album with a trap; “Mindful” is upbeat, fast-paced, entertaining and completely different from the other sluggish songs on More Issues Than Vogue. The contrast between “Mindful” and the rest of the album is discerning at best and brings an unfinished, unconnected quality to the album as a whole.
Nonetheless, it’s not that the songs themselves are bad. On the contrary, K. Michelle’s voice brings a very Adele-esque quality to classic R&B beats, creating soothing, girl-positive, power ballads. For example, “Ain’t You” has an organic, hazy rhythm layered well underneath lyrics like “Oh, I got my own shit, don’t want your money / Nope, I drop a hundred bands like it’s easy money.” K. Michelle’s honey-sweet voice makes you think she’s blowing a kiss when she’s really swinging a punch, which, when paired with the minimalist beat, produces the perfect amount of likeable “fuck you.” The same persona is seen in “Nightstand.” K. Michelle proudly croons “just being honest I promise that jewelry you gave me / I never even wear it and I like Drake better than you.” Throughout More Issues Than Vogue, K. Michelle is unapologetically both a powerful singer and a powerful woman, creating compositions that are simultaneously sensual and centered around female empowerment.
However, there is no differentiation between different songs’ tempos, styles and rhythms. More Issues Than Vogue, when listened through start to finish, seems to be one behemoth song instead of a conglomeration of varying songs paired together in complementary ways. A majority of the album is structured the same way: a steady beat in the background supplementing K. Michelle’s soaring vocals. And while the individual songs are beautifully crafted, they are all beautifully crafted in the exact same way, resulting in a monotonous album that has no zing or any level of excitement.
For example, from “Ain’t You” to “If It Ain’t Love” or from “Nightstand” to “Time,” are stretches of time in the album where the songs are so similar they all blend together to the point where you don’t know where one song ends and the other song begins. Accompany this unclear and uncertain discernment between songs with a painfully slow tempo, and you get music to fall asleep to (or music you wish you were asleep to avoid listening to). K. Michelle, take a page out of Missy Elliott’s book and get ur freak on.
The only two songs from More Issues Than Vogue that stray from the dreary norm are “Rich” and “Make The Bed.” With the help of both Trina and Yo Gotti, K. Michelle upped her game in “Rich” and produced an attention-grabbing song that stood out from its sea of surrounding tedium. Although “I got rich people problems / only way to solve ‘em / keep on gettin’ rich” is a bit unoriginal, it at least provides some variation that stops the album from truly becoming the epitome of lackluster. With the help of Jason Derulo, K. Michelle finally increases the speed of the dying tempo in “Make The Bed” as she asks the age-old question of “why do we, why do we, why do we / make the bed?” By the end of the song, she still hasn’t found the answer, but at least we, as listeners, are revived and energized enough to make it to the end of the album.
Overall, K. Michelle is an amazing singer with a monumental voice, but she doesn’t push her potential or her talents. Instead, she stays well within her comfort zone. While that ensures she doesn’t make any truly horrible songs, it also results in products like More Issues Than Vogue — an album uninspiring and unremarkable in its uniformity.