Dawn Richard Goldenheart

Dawn RichardGoldenheart
On the surface, there's a certain "je ne sais quoi" to former Danity Kane/Ex-Dirty Money singer Dawn Richard's latest effort. Kudos to Richard for getting out of the Diddy shadow, but even after giving the artist the benefit of the doubt, the "quoi" in this instance turns out to be quite bland. "Let's start a riot/Give love a fighting chance," Richard croons on the appropriately titled "Riot" and things rarely get more inspired from there. To be fair, a track like "86" has a cool R&B vibe and "Break of Dawn" is a sincere-sounding power ballad that sticks the landing. Clinging faithfully to the futuristic, dance-flavoured R&B/pop sound that's been a constant lately, Goldenheart functions as a hypnotic aural distraction, but little more. "Not terrible, but not great" is the most charitable statement that can be made. On the plus side, however, one gets the sense that Goldenheart is the fresh new start Richard needed. (Independent)