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Toya Og Tøs

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Album Review

Another excellent female urban soul album from the summer of 2001, Toya's eponymous debut album — like the 2001 albums by Blu Cantrell, Alicia Keys, and the sadly departed Aaliyah — is a savvy combination of classic soul conventions, innovative production, strong songwriting, and fine, understated singing. Of the aforementioned albums, Toya's is the closest to the urban mainstream, but where many of her peers favor songs and performances that are all surface, this record still has style, but it's enhanced by uniformly strong songs, good sequencing, fine singing, and sharp production masterminded by executive producer Antonio "L.A." Reid. Compare this record to Reid's work with Usher on 8701, and the difference becomes apparent — Usher may show off more, but Toya's more seductive, even on neo-disco songs like "Think." This also sets a mood, but there's a lot of variety within the mood and within the album's songs, resulting in a record that's not just a fine debut, but one of the best urban records of 2001.


Born: St. Louis, MO

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s

The popularity of Dirty South-style rap artists has helped put St. Louis on the musical map, especially following the huge success of Nelly's Country Grammar album. The city's true musical style lies somewhere between the South and the Midwest, though, with a diverse collection of artists who draw as much inspiration from Chicago as Atlanta. Born and raised in St. Louis, Toya (born Toya Rodriguez) was mentored by the same people who helped Nelly achieve fame, but used that help to produce an album...
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Toya Og Tøs, Toya
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