For Your Eyes Only is a new album from New York-based singer/songwriter, Nikia. This release contains some of the best contemporary R&B/pop songs I’ve heard in recent memory. Nikia is a phenomenal singer. There’s no autotune. No production tricks or abrasive processing on her vocals. The singing is just pure and pristine. Her vocal ability is so high caliber that she should be performing at Madison Square Garden.
The songs themselves are romantic, sincere and sentimental. The opening track Boomerang is meticulously well choreographed and incredibly catchy. It’s so polished and artfully magnificent, I could picture it being used in a title sequence to a James Bond film (which is an interesting coincidence given the title of this album). Boomerang is a perfect song. One of my other favorite tracks on here is I Don’t Care (Interlude), which is a brief, two-minute jam with a uniquely toned, minimalist guitar backing. Nikia’s layered conversational delivery gives the song a classic, almost innocent feel, stylishly reminiscent of artists like The Shangri-Las. However, the guitars have a rich and robustly futuristic sound. Running Out of Time is more of a synthpop dance track, with a colorful, ambient beat and energetic pace. The pacing of the song matches up well with the theme of a romantic couple whose relationship is “running out of time.” Nothing about the music feels rushed though. It’s thoroughly enjoyable, and the candy sweet backing beat induces a subtle euphoria.
One of Nikia’s best performances is saved for last, with Forever. Not only does she end things on a positive note lyrically (this song is more of a romantic celebration than a story about two lovers working through their relationship issues), but the music is upbeat and has a dazzling, jazzy vibe. It’s like an upscale lounge track. This entire album is satisfying on so many levels. It’s classy. It’s sincere. It’s performed to a very high standard, and the production quality is exquisite. There are probably several songs on here that are worthy of awards.
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