The First Lady
Despite her fourth CD’s title, Evans has always played second-string diva to the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, and there won’t be any changing of the ghetto-fabulous guard with this serviceable but unspectacular effort. Evans tones down the hip-hop (rappers only appear on two songs) to emphasize the soul on cuts like the midtempo testimonial “Again” as well as the usual slow jams. A couple of jazzy house numbers pump things up, but too few tracks—the gospel-powered “Mesmerized” being one—are truly first-rate.
•DOWNLOAD THIS: “Mesmerized”