Bops Only: `10 Songs You Need to Start Your Weekend Right
I had no idea this album was happening — but for those of you who don't know: Mya Harrison is the iconic R&B siren behind "My Love Is Like...Wo," "Case of the Ex," and yes, featured on the Moulin Rouge revamp of LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade." (It's been almost 20 years since that dropped!) And in case you still don't know: Mya has been an independent force in her own right since launching her own label Planet 9 about 10 years ago, and has released several albums including her seventh studio LP, 2016's Grammy-nominated Smoove Jones. More impressive: going independent may mean harder work, but the benefits of having total creative control and being the sole rights-owner of her music means she gets more coin per record sale. So, Ms. Mya is doing just fine, thank you very much. T.K.O. (The Knock Out) is Mya's latest release, and it's impressive in its scope and its referencing of her inspirations spanning the genre's masters. Collectively, it seems to be right on-trend, kicking it old school, and forward-thinking, all at one. "Open" featuring GoldLink is a slice of atmospheric trap-flavored R&B and a well-played Mary J. Blige circa My Life interpolation. "Knock You Out" is an Isley Brothers-indebted bedroom jam with guitar licks and spaced-out vocal harmonies. "Ready For Whatever 2.0" is a reimagining of the album's first single and is an homage to Aaliyah's effortless cool. But throughout TKO, though Mya is a well-studied product of her influences, she is as an artist all her own, producing, writing, and owning all of it.