Shonta’ Renée - Situationship (2015)

Shonta’ Renée
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Girl meets boy.....perhaps not for the first time. Words are exchanged, minds meld and the adventure of the heart begins----or ends. It's a story that many of us are familiar with and have heard about, but not quite the way that singer and songwriter Shonta Renee breaks it down with her enjoyable EP release, Situationship. 

Girl meets boy.....perhaps not for the first time. Words are exchanged, minds meld and the adventure of the heart begins----or ends. It's a story that many of us are familiar with and have heard about, but not quite the way that singer and songwriter Shonta Renee breaks it down with her enjoyable EP release, Situationship. 

A Savannah, GA native, Shonta earned her Biology degree last year but knew years before finishing that her childhood passion, music, was what she would ultimately pursue.  The songs and scenarios are somewhat brief, but that doesn't keep the listener from hearing the crisp production value or the coy-come-hither sweetness of her vocals. The titles may invoke expected interactions between partners -- "Role Play," "The Conversation," etc. -- but her delivery displays a self-possessed sophistication that many artists fail to achieve. "Secret Lover" can be clandestine thing to most, but her breezy take fashions the man as a succulent treat rather than a shameful sex toy, one that she can't leave behind: "You're my little secret, you bring me joy," Shonta sighs, "and you know just who you are." 

Reflective of the social media era we now live in, Situationship seems to flow in the real-time arc of a hookup that could've had it all, but didn't (who can't relate to that?): nothing wild, flashy or bombastic, but her talents intrigue nonetheless. "Role Play" is a mid-tempo groove, yet throbs with the urgency of a dopamine rush, for example, and the saucy "Mocha Man" compares her boo to the hue and flavor of her favorite up of joe (heeeeey!). Even when the static shows up ("Slow Down," Regretful") and Shonta finds herself newly single again, she's more wistful than wailing in conveying that ache: "Have you realized, that we don't have much chemistry no more/I have to let you go."

If there are any cons to this set, it's the tendency of Situationship to rely too often on gimmicky pro-tuning affects that demonstrate Shonta's youth, but can sometimes distract from the overall mood and musicality. However, those quirks are only slight annoyances and no reason to overlook the polish and potential of this Savannah peach's intriguing new voice. Recommended

By Melody Charles

 

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