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Mya Returns ‘With Love’

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Mya is back and forward with her Valentine’s Day-released With Love. The four-song EP dips into musical fare we’ve come to expect from the triple threat -- contemporary R&B spiced with of-the-moment hip hop -- but also shows progression in vocals and melodies borrowed from the same recipe as her Moodring album.

The set starts with “Space,” produced by Yonni & Squat. Quite simply a sexy groove, “Space” is at once psychedelically funky and cosmically catchy with its inserted bleeps and echoes. The song’s title might make one assume it’s about an out-of-this-world encounter a la Katy Perry’s “E.T.” or even a woman demanding freedom in a controlling relationship. Instead, Mya yearns to be “suffocated” by all her man’s love -- the same way a body might be engulfed by the ocean.

Producer Antoine Hart helps out with “Like a Woman.” This is one of Mya’s more stripped performances, featuring just her voice and a strumming guitar. In that vein, it’s appropriate that the overall package is completed by vulnerable demands for respect and to be treated as more than a sex object.

“House Party” is both fun and funny. Her approach to the matter at hand -- ditching friends for a night home with her man -- is comical (“Boy you gonna make me fight for that/If we don’t make it out it’s all your fault”) and almost delivered from a male perspective. Regardless, the track has steppers appeal, which is a great floor-filler for the truly grown and sexy.

“Do It” is the most contemporary work on the collection and could easily find a spot between Kid Ink’s “Show Me” and Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love,” thanks to a little bit of that Southern bounce and semi-raunchy lyrics. It’s not the strongest piece of this pie, but entertaining nonetheless.

Though it barely clocks in at 12 minutes long, With Love feels like a reintroduction to Mya. It’s not that she’s been gone, but between label drama and international-only albums, she’s been well below the radar. Maybe it’s us missing her that makes the EP so refreshing or maybe it’s just fun to have new material. Either way, With Love is worth a spin of encouragement.

Mya With Love [Amazon][iTunes]


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