Sunday, January 31, 2021

Mya: Liberation (JP Promo CDr) (Universal Motown, 2006)

First conceptualized as a project called "Control Freak" in 2004, Mya's fourth album went through many changes before its inadvertent release to the Japanese iTunes store in 2007. After leaving Interscope in 2005 to sign with Universal Motown, much of the earlier material she recorded for the project was left behind and eventually many of the songs were leaked online. Suffice to say, Mya was not to make much off this project despite working on it for three years and going through two different labels. Again, a familiar name pops up: Sylvia Rhone. For anybody who doesn't know, Rhone had shelved more great R&B albums when she was in charge at EastWest Records in the late 90s and early 2000s than anybody else. Was Mya yet another victim? I don't know but I find it more than a coincidence. After that blunder, the album, then called "Liberation" was officially cancelled outside of Japan. A little less R&B than her previous LPs, it was a solid set, combining futuristic hip hop and

rock-tinged anthems with her trademark pop swagger. It never got an actual CD release as after their mistake, the label feared competing with bootleggers but some very rare promos do exist. The above CDr even contains 3 extra tracks that were shortly removed from the regular version,"Escape", "I'll Still Be Around" and "A-Yo" (which was previously planned as a single but later scrapped.) "Escape" originally leaked back in '06 in LQ but here we get to hear it in its completed form. It was said to be from the "Control Freak" sessions but seeing as most of these tracks were left behind when she transitioned to Universal Motown, obviously not. "I'll Be Around" as far as I can tell has never leaked although it was recognized by the You Tube algorithm. I am inclined to believe the label might've planned to release it at some point but once again decided against it. 

The set spawned 3 singles in the US before its cancellation: "Ayo", "Ridin'" and "Lock U Down."  

Liberation (Intro) 0:21 
I Am 3:50 
Walka Not A Talka 3:36 
Still A Woman 4:00 
No Touch 4:08 
Lock You Down 3:30 
Lights Go Off 6:25 
Ridin' 4:20 
Switch It Up 4:46 
Give A Chick A Hand 4:15 
All In The Name Of Love 3:34 
Life Is Too Short 4:02 
Nothin' At All 4:43 
I'll Still Be Around 4:08 
Escape 3:28 
A-Yo 3:53