Nicole Wray’s self-titled album is one of Nicole Wray’s best works to date. You can tell she was very much hands-on with the songwriting. She showed off her mature side on this album with songs such as Change Of Heart and I Wanna Kiss You among other songs recorded. She showed off her mature side on this album unlike her debut album Make It Hot. There’s definitely a higher level of maturity in her music. Not to mention lyrics. This was because she was an adult who was old enough to talk about whatever she wanted to talk about as she was free and grown.
Her self-titled album uses a mixture of contemporary pop, R&B/soul, and hip hop/rap. Her album is all love. Love, relationships, trust, and all the things she has been through that have made her a stronger woman. Every moment of the struggle helped Nicole become a better person. She simply equates her strength and success to balance.
Her self-titled album was supposed to be the fourth album by Nicole Wray that was supposed be released on Roc-A-Fella Records in 2005. However the date was pushed back to 2007. Sadly her self-titled album would suffer an array of setbacks as time progressed which was the case with her previous albums such as Elektric Blue and Lovechild.
The album was going to be released as a joint venture with Def Jam and Chrysalis Music Group USA. However Def Jam was not interested with working Nicole on her self-titled album because they were already working with Rihanna and Teairra Marí. When Rihanna started becoming popular, Nicole got less attention causing a lack of promotion and the release date for album to be pushed back. Rihanna becoming the spotlight at the label is another factor which led her self-titled album album to be shelved. Her self-titled album album fell victim to industry politics.
The Jay-Z and Dame Dash feud between Jay-Z and Dame Dash was another factor as to why her self-titled album album was shelved and never released. The Jay-Z and Dame Dash feud was a setback for her career.
As for Nicole releasing her self-titled album herself, she is unable to release her self-titled album herself because the rights to that album belong to Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings along with Chrysalis Music Group USA. They would be the ones to release the album since both labels own all the rights to that album. Roc-A-Fella Records owns the rights to her Lovechild album and self-titled album.
Damon Dash, Sylvain Marchand, and Boola produced a portion of the album. Damon Dash was co-producer as he was on her Lovechild album. However there were other producers on the album. Some of the songs from the Lovechild album were used on this album such as Cloud Nine, Thug Style, Fire, King, and Your Favorite, Your Friend.
Some may remember the underground buzz singles were Cloud Nine, Fire, and King. The album spawned underground multiple buzz singles which her fans knew about.
Honestly her self-titled album album should have been released. Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam, Chrysalis Music Group USA and dropped the ball on their R&B/soul division. They really screwed things up with this album which is definitely a shame. Her self-titled album could have something big or significant. That album could have gone on to sell millions.
The song Change of Heart was written by Nicole and produced by Sylvain Marchand. The song was sung by Nicole only by herself. Change of Heart is a love ballad.
Songwriter Tamara Savage had nothing to do with this song despite was people believe or want others to believe. That is a popular misconception with this song. The reason this popular misconception occurs is because people get Change of Heart confused with Dial My Heart, which was a song that was originally recorded in 1999 with songwriter Tamara Savage for Nicole’s sophomore album Elektric Blue.
Cloud Nine was the mellow chill cooler of the album. So feel the melody and let yourself go. Ride with Nicole Wray as she is in control. You’ll feel so good tonight. Cloud Nine is about relaxing and having fun. You might remember this song was played during the Harlem Day Parade in 2004. Nicole Wray was on the Hot 97 float promoting her album with Rell, Allen Anthony, and the rest of the Roc.
Feel the melody. Let yourself go. Ride with Nicole Wray as she is in control. You’ll feel so good tonight. Her and Mary Jane have come out tonight. They are on cloud nine. We ain’t goin’ home. We gonna stay. The night is still young. Let’s just have fun. Feels the boogie nights. With everybody moving it feels so right. You ready to get your diamond shinin’ so bright. And they can drop the top down tonight.
Let yourself feel free. We’ve got nothin’ but space and time. No more stress in your mind. Lay back and unwind. Livin’ the good life. Don’t stop tonight. People keep it moving Go and dance tonight. The night is yours.
Thug Style with Peedi Crakk is the unexpectedly loud futuristic song of the album. Thug Style was everyone’s favorite unreleased Nicole Wray song which featured former Roc-A-Fella recording labelmate Peedi Crakk. Those futuristic ethereal synths and thick beats are what made the song stand out in particular. Nicole’s vocals on this song were spectacular. The song is about how her man’s thug style drives her wild.
You might remember this song was played during the Harlem Day Parade in 2004. Nicole Wray was on the Hot 97 float promoting her album with Rell, Allen Anthony, and the rest of the Roc.
It’s his thug style that drives Nicole wild. It’s also due to those clean chains of jewelry. It’s sex appeal. She wants him to take here there on another level of ecstasy. Nicole wants her man to take her higher than she has ever been before. She wants to be his lady.
Walking By is none other than Forever. Walking By is another powerful break-up anthem where Nicole breaks up with her man she has had enough of him. This thing they had is now over. Walking By is also about unfaithful men who are not devoted to their ladies. This song is filled with jazz melodies and urban beats.
Finally Nicole sees the truth. She can’t take it no more. She has had enough of her man and breaks up with him. This thing they had is over now. She is walking by.
There ain’t nothin’ worse than a brotha that don’t know what he got. He’d rather run around with pigeons and his boys in the drop while his girl is working hard. There ain’t nothin’ so hard that he can’t even focus. Her man heard some frivolous his about some money and his eyes get devoted.
There ain’t nothin’ worse than him saying that he cares when his mind ain’t even there. He kept Nicole up plenty of nights worrying about if he was gonna be alright. There ain’t nothin’ so cheap that he’s got to lie her and deceit her. So Nicole will be be moving on. She don’t wanna worry no more. He had a good thing but he blew it.
King is none other than Child Of The King which was recorded for her Lovechild album. Child Of The King was produced by the now famous Toby Gad. The song is a powerful break-up ballad where Nicole breaks up from her former lover as he was doubting her too much.
For years this man who was Nicole’s lover doubted Nicole and had never done a thing for her when she was working hard when she was doing things that she loves. Busting her ass all day. But she had his back. He kept her out of trouble and kept her out of the streets. He should’ve made her feel special and should’ve made her believe.
This man once told Nicole that she ain’t gonna be shit. Nicole told him, “Fuck you cause you don’t know cause I am what I say I am. I am the child of the king.” This man wish you could be and wishes he could compare himself to Nicole Wray. She is better than this and better than that. Nicole is the best she can be. She is the child of the king.
This man who was Nicole’s lover a friend of mine. Look how he changed in time. When Nicole was down he wrote her off but without love. He broke her off with something that was not proper.
The lyrics to the refrain for Child Of The King were copied from the song Nas – I Can.
I can be what I wanna be
And if I work real hard, I’ll be what I wanna be
I know I can, be what I wanna be
Your Favorite, Your Friend was another song recorded with songwriter Tamara Savage for the Elektric Blue album and was later used on the Lovechild album. Your Favorite, Your Friend was used on this album too.
I rate this album 5/5*****!!