Pen’s Rhythm Nation: T.K.O. (The Knockout) by Mya

Mya Mya
Mya Mya
Mya in Damage Video Mya in Damage Video
T.K.O. (The Knockout) T.K.O. (The Knockout)

Dear Pennies & Pens,

So last year when we weren’t paying attention, Mya released a new album. Do y’all remember Mya? She dropped her first record in 1998. We featured and wrote about that album here: Pen’s Rhythm Nation: The Best Hip-Hop and R&B Albums for Fall. These days, Mya is an independent artist with her own label. Mya is so dope! Like she’s been consistently releasing good ass music for 20 years. So I must ink the page and give her props.

I honestly can’t remember how I stumbled upon Mya’s latest album, T.K.O. I just remember browsing thru Apple Music and being pleasantly surprised by the fact that Mya had released a new album. It was at that moment that I decided to add it to my library and I’m so glad I did.

T.K.O. (The Knockout)

T.K.O. (The Knockout)

The Knockout has been in constant rotation on my playlist ever since. I just can’t seem to get enough of this album. It has such a smooth, chill vibe. It’s an album you can play all day. It’ll keep you calm in the morning, chill you out during the day, and relax you at night.

The Knockout starts off with The Fall and this song is an epic intro track. It sets the tone for the rest of the album. I love the beat and the production is smooth. The next track is Open and it features GoldLink. I’ll admit I had never heard of GoldLink but his verse on this song is fire!!! It’s so dope! I like how he relates it back to Mya and gives her props for being able to stay in the industry as an independent artist for this long. In his verse, he raps, “I can’t say her name but when you see her you know she mine. That ass like whoa, her love like whoa.”

The third track is Simple Things – this song is good but I’m not sure it’s anything to ride home about. I mean the lyrics are cool and I can definitely relate because she talks about wanting simple things from a man – things like love and affection. I am the same way but something about this song makes it one of the less memorable tracks. I play this song but it’s just not one of my favorites on the album.

Down is the next song on T.K.O. This song is better than Simple Things but it’s still not one of my favorites. I like it but something about it is a bit repetitive and annoying. However, I do think it fits the overall vibe of the album. If you play the album all the way through both of these tracks fit. They’re just not my personal favorites.Ready for Whatever 2.0 is the fifth track on the album. Now this song is my shit!!! I absolutely love it. The beat and the lyrics are banging. Also, the video for the song was litty too. Mya’s team really slayed the styling and the videography. I cannot do anything but ink the page and give this one hella props.

Mya in Damage Video

Mya in Damage Video

Damage enters stage right as the sixth track on T.K.O. Mya gets all deep this song and it totally works. She really showcases her vocals on this song. Mya is no powerhouse vocalist by any means but she has a nice smooth alto voice. With the lightness of the guitar and the steady percussion, the beat becomes something that Mya can ride smoothly.

Ready (90s Bedroom Mix) – the seventh song on the album is by far one of the best tracks on the album. It’s literally everything. Even though it samples R. Kelly whom I have never liked and really can’t stand because you know why, I can’t deny how dope this song is. Like Mya brings back the 90s vibes but the song still feels new and fresh. It’s so relevant and contemporary. The beat has some light keyboard strokes and that’s about it so it almost feels like Mya is singing acapella which makes it even better. This song is definitely an underrated gem.

You Got Me is track number 8 and this one is that shit, b. Like it’s straight up slay all day. Something about this song is so sexy and jazzy at the same time. It’s the best of the new school and old school. I really dig this one. It’s definitely a banger. I think it’s a tie between which is better the beat or the vocals. They’re both litty.

Knock You Out is track number nine and this is when we finally get introduced to the album’s title. This song is dope AF. I absolutely love this track! The beat is everything first and foremost and then Mya’s vocals match it perfectly. They both flow together. It’s like when you first pour pinot grigio into the glass and take that first sip…that crisp, refreshing taste is what this song sounds like. Pour a glass, play this song, and tell me what you think.

Mya

Mya

With You is track number 10. This was one is eh. It’s like Simple Things and Down. It’s literally just okay. Nothing to lose your shit over. At least I didn’t.

If Tomorrow Never Comes – the last and final song on the album is when Mya gets “deep”. Idk why but every 90s R&B artist had this weird habit of ending every album with a slow, deep song. Less than 5 of these songs are worth listening to. It’s not that this song is bad, it’s that you can tell it’s the album’s last song. When you hear it, you can tell Mya and her team are saying – okay we’re done now, goodbye until the next album. It’s truly the definition of an okay song. I feel like it tries too hard to be deep instead of just being deep.

Mya

Mya

As you can see, I didn’t/don’t love every song on this album. But it is absolutely one of Mya’s best albums and one of the best R&B albums to be released in a long time. The R&B scene has become a shit show so I’m glad that artists like Mya are still producing great work. Overall, it’s a solid album and worth your pennies. If you decide to cop this ink, let me know what you think in the comments!

And there it is. de la Pen…All Pen Everything. With us, keeping it real never goes wrong.

 

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LoudPen
LoudPen is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur with two different businesses, 8515 + ISLP. That said, Penny has many different titles that she uses for each company. As far as ISLP, Pen is a Lifestyle Blogger, Influencer, Writer, Editor, Photographer, Designer, Producer, and Director. In regards to 8515, Pen is a Publicist, Event Planner, Creative Director, Casting Director, Stylist, and Makeup Artist. Basically, LoudPen has many different pens and loves to ink the page. On a day to day basis, Pen is usually writing content, developing products, producing, directing, creating a marketing or PR campaign, meeting with clients, planning events, posting on social media, etc. Follow Penny's Ink on Instagram & Twitter: @LoudPen @ISLPDTX @8515Agency @PenniesandPens