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R&B - Released June 25, 2021 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released May 18, 2021 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released January 11, 2021 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released January 4, 2021 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released January 4, 2021 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released January 4, 2021 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released October 30, 2020 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released October 30, 2020 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released October 30, 2020 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released October 30, 2020 | Capitol Records

Having put together an all-platinum hit streak consisting of "Medicine," "Karma," and "Butterflies" -- the first two of which also topped Billboard's Adult R&B Songs chart -- Queen Naija could have rushed her debut album. Instead, she took her time with Missunderstood, and it shows. While Naija has excelled with singles, the longer format allows her diaristic songwriting to truly flourish, and there's more poise and nuance in her lithe vocals without sacrificing the power of her rawest expressions. Beyond proving these notions, "Butterflies, Pt. 2" is the set's biggest risk. Sequels to big hits rarely pay off artistically or commercially, and this one beat the odds by evoking a scenario even brighter than the original and by becoming Naija's third number one adult R&B single. Additionally, the song gently lifts the mood evoked in the preceding soul-searching ballad "Trial and Error" and functions as a smooth setup for "Beautiful," a contented finale where Naija's skyward harmonies are ornamented neatly with strings. Strong songs elsewhere are the rule, not the exception. Foremost among these are consecutive collaborations with Warren "Oak" Felder: "Pack Lite," a fed-up if dazzling slow jam referencing Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady," and "Lie to Me," a clever switch-up embedded with multiple references to fellow Michiganders DeBarge. On the sensual ballad "Love Language," Naija sails the interzone between Janet Jackson and Jhené Aiko, but she's otherwise in a stylistic lineage with fervent storytellers such as Keyshia Cole and K. Michelle. As with them, Naija's most compatible featured vocalists are R&B to the bone. The collaborations with Lucky Daye and Kiana Ledé in particular are natural, not merely strategic moves to maximize streaming consumption. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released October 30, 2020 | Capitol Records

Having put together an all-platinum hit streak consisting of "Medicine," "Karma," and "Butterflies" -- the first two of which also topped Billboard's Adult R&B Songs chart -- Queen Naija could have rushed her debut album. Instead, she took her time with Missunderstood, and it shows. While Naija has excelled with singles, the longer format allows her diaristic songwriting to truly flourish, and there's more poise and nuance in her lithe vocals without sacrificing the power of her rawest expressions. Beyond proving these notions, "Butterflies, Pt. 2" is the set's biggest risk. Sequels to big hits rarely pay off artistically or commercially, and this one beat the odds by evoking a scenario even brighter than the original and by becoming Naija's third number one adult R&B single. Additionally, the song gently lifts the mood evoked in the preceding soul-searching ballad "Trial and Error" and functions as a smooth setup for "Beautiful," a contented finale where Naija's skyward harmonies are ornamented neatly with strings. Strong songs elsewhere are the rule, not the exception. Foremost among these are consecutive collaborations with Warren "Oak" Felder: "Pack Lite," a fed-up if dazzling slow jam referencing Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady," and "Lie to Me," a clever switch-up embedded with multiple references to fellow Michiganders DeBarge. On the sensual ballad "Love Language," Naija sails the interzone between Janet Jackson and Jhené Aiko, but she's otherwise in a stylistic lineage with fervent storytellers such as Keyshia Cole and K. Michelle. As with them, Naija's most compatible featured vocalists are R&B to the bone. The collaborations with Lucky Daye and Kiana Ledé in particular are natural, not merely strategic moves to maximize streaming consumption. © Andy Kellman /TiVo

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Capitol Records in the magazine
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