The first Faith Evans album without the Bad Boy logo on the sleeve and the word "faith" in the title, The First Lady thankfully offers nothing else in the way of a shake-up. The wait between 2001's Faithfully and this 2005 release was easily the longest in Evans' career. If there was any creative block during the time away, it doesn't show. In fact, The First Lady proves that she only gets better with time, as she goes through more ups and downs and continues to absorb her inspirations. At less than an hour in running time, it's her shortest album to date, which also helps make it her tightest. Where her first three albums are too lengthy, often bogged down with some lukewarm ballads, The First Lady is terrifically balanced in its distribution of club tracks, midtempo grooves, and slow jams -- with a knowing, timely homage to the late Lyn Collins thrown effectively into the mix -- and its tactful sequencing should give a lot of skip and delete buttons a break. Whatever dip in quality that transpires during the latter half of the album has more to do with the first half's excellence and numerous dimensions, including the punchy Neptunes production "Goin' Out," the sparkling "I Don't Need It," the uplifting "Again" (a good match with Fantasia's similarly affirming "Baby Mama"), and "Stop n Go" -- a gorgeous ballad with a devastating chorus. Evans, as always, does the bulk of the songwriting and some of the production with some key help. Jermaine Dupri, Chucky Thompson, Mario Winans, and the ubiquitous Bryan-Michael Cox also assist, but Carvin "Ransum" Haggins and Ivan "Orthodox" Barias deserve a lot of credit for their work on half of the songs. The First Lady is as well-rounded as an R&B album gets, regardless of the age it's part of. Like Teedra Moses' neglected Complex Simplicity, it smartly incorporates throwback aspects into state-of-the-art pop-soul.
Performance CreditsFaith Evans Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Harley White Bass
Mario Winans Bass,Vocals
Russ Brown Guitar
Pharrell Williams Vocals
William Rodney Prince Percussion
Rod Morgan Keyboards
Matt Cappy Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Tony Aliperti Guitar
Pusha T Rap
Johnnie "Smurf" Smith Keyboards
Jay Shawn Smith Background Vocals
Technical CreditsJermaine Dupri Producer
Manny Marroquin Engineer
Todd Russaw Producer,Executive Producer,Management
Andrew Slater Vocal Producer
C. Thompson Composer
Howard Willing Engineer
Mario Winans Composer,Producer
Faith Evans Composer,Producer
James Harris Composer
Chucky Thompson Producer,Audio Production
Andrew M. Shack Executive Producer
Pharrell Williams Composer
Andre Johnson Producer
Neptunes Producer,Audio Production
Mike Caren Producer,Engineer
C.C. Mitchell Composer
Mechalie Jamison Composer
Andrew Coleman Engineer
Bryan-Michael Cox Producer,Instrumentation
Ivan "Orthodox" Barias Producer,Audio Production,Instrumentation
Carvin "Ransum" Haggins Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Ben Briggs Engineer
Brad Todd Engineer
T. Calloway Composer
Frank Sutton Engineer
Eric Hunter Engineer
Johnnie "Smurf" Smith Producer,Instrumentation
T. Gozney Thornton Composer
Original Heads Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have enjoyed this cd. "Goin Out", "Again", "I Don't Need It", "Stop n Go", "Jealous", "Get Over You", "Lucky Day", and "Hope" are my favorites of course. I'm just wanting for another album.
FAITH'S NEW ALBUM IS HOT Y'ALL! I HAVE HEARD LIKE HALF THE ALBUM AND TRUST ME, IT'S FIRE! COP THAT ALBUM APRIL 5TH!
I've been a Faith Evans fan for a long time, but this is definetly been her best album. Every song is beautfully made, and every aspect of the songs work together harmoniously. Every song on this CD is listenable, which is a difficult feat nowadays by many well established artists.
Faith's new single is hot and so is the rest of her new album. Ive only heard a little bit of each song but all I know is that this CD is hot and Faith is sing'n like she has never sang before so u got to go get this album once it hits store April 5th
faith evans came with the heat, once again. the voice is impeccable, very soulful. the lyrics come from the heart. there's an even blend of old school and new school vibes. the chorus in "stop n go" will make your spine tingle. regardless, Faith Evans can do no wrong!!This cd is a testament to that!
I've only heard snippets of 5 songs and so far it sounds like a hot album. Faith's vocal are better than ever!
Faith has definitely put it down on this album. I enjoy how she takes it back on some tracks to true R&B roots. If you've watched the progression of Faith, you truly can appreciate what she brings on this album. Definite- must buy!