Perhaps that's a harsh response to a woman whose voice is as warm and welcoming as a lover's embrace, and who has delivered some of the most memorable hooks to hit the airwaves in the past two years. But on Chapter II, as with her 2002 debut, Ashanti's vocals go from soothing to somnolent over the course of an hour. Pleasant but punchless sub-soul, such as "Breakup 2 Makeup" and "Sweet Baby," frequently derails this disc. And Ashanti is even worse when she breaks from the formula: With its shimmering synth and gauche beat, "I Found Lovin'" is supposed to be a throwback to the days of Cameo and Sheila E., but it sounds more like a B-side from the Jets. With another three intermissions and a needless outro, Chapter II feels like one prolonged interlude.
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