A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ashanti's fourth album is more of the same in terms of sexual content, but she seems to have toned it down a bit when it comes to glorifying the gangsta life. Unfortunately, she just can't stray too far from the lyrical formula of lots of gratuitous sexual stuff.
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What's the story?
Is it any good?
Ashanti's soulful voice is a little hidden behind all the production, but THE DECLARATION probably couldn't help but end up sounding overproduced with the list of people tied to it -- Babyface, Jermaine Dupri, Diane Warren -- to name a few. And production isn't the only thing that's over the top: Ashanti is definitely the "Dear Abby" of the R&B world for the heartbroken and wouldn't be herself if she wasn't singing about the highs and lows of relationships including being a woman scorned and exacting revenge. All said, what you have here is a fine album of songs that doesn't really excite or depress either. It's stuck in mediocrity and falls somewhere in the middle of take or leave it.