I’m more than ready for new LeToya Luckett music and with a little over 10 years after her Platinum-selling self-titled debut solo album and almost exactly 8 years after her followup sophomore album, Lady Love, I’m quite sure many others were as well before the very talented and beautiful singer/songwriter and actress finally released her long-awaited and long overdue third album, Back 2 Life, last year. Which makes it’s quite appropriate that the very airy and upbeat, I’m Ready, about the hope and joyful possibilities a new relationship brings is the opening record, which shows whether in music or love, patience and hard work really pays off. As LeToya shows with the vocal maturity and growth she delivered over that period honing her craft to deliver by far her best album to date.
The chemistry between LeToya and producer, Jo Blaq, who produced or co-produced on eight of the 13 tracks, really helping bring out the best out of the former Destiny’s Child member. This is very apparent from the title track and lead single, which perfectly samples Soul II Soul’s classic, Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), and has LeToya singing over the sonically somber sounds so passionately about a failing relationship and the vulnerable realities of a painfully toxic relationship on the fine tuned breakup ballad. In a true art imitating life affair, as most believe it’s about her failed relationship and marriage with motivational speaker Rob Hill Sr. Like that record a majority of the backbone of Back 2 Life is about the romantic turmoil and heartache one goes through in a relationship, but it’s also those moments that lead to warm slow jams and fun and enjoyable dance type records, which reminds us love is a journey and not a race. This is very apparent on the very upbeat and fun, joyful dance grooves, Show and Used To. Show being by far one of the best records on the whole album. The very gentle and soothingly smooth, Grey. A record featuring longtime friend and collaborator Ludacris (who’s the only feature on the album) that’s a bittersweet love story about not letting a grey area get in the way of falling in love and has LeToya delivering arguably some of her greatest vocals on the whole album, is definitely a real highlight.
On the next couple of records, which are easily two of the best on the whole album, In the Name and My Love, the songstress, shows that Jo Blaq, isn’t the only producer she has really great chemistry too. As over the nice piano chords of the Warryn Campbell-produced jam, In the Name, LeToya gives us a perfectly memorable and reflective dreamy nice soft faultless ballad that sounds like it can be an 80’s classic, but still with that fresh sound of now. While the warm flowing drums and chants on, My Love, has the singers vocals so easily flow off, as she sings about not so easily given her love away as she previously did before, yet still yearning for love. That perfectly segues into the very intimately bittersweet and very soothingly smooth, as well as very passionately, World’s Apart. Which is by far the best record on the whole album and the most passionately sung by LeToya. Giving her all on her vocal display on that record.
The very emotionally heartbreaking, Disconnected, that finds LeToya so smoothly singing such angelic and mature vocals about the disconnect she had that ended one relationship, before she was able to fall in love and start a new one again being the perfect way to close such a great album, about the journey of heartache, joy, heartbreak and fun that love can bring someone. With its great song selection, fun and enjoyable vibe, Back 2 Life, is such an amazing album that you can easily play from front to back and play for hours on end without getting tired of it.