It's been quite a road to Dondria Vs. Phatfffat. Originally due in 2008 on Island Def Jam, Dondria weathered the storm of Jermaine Dupri, who discovered her on YouTube, going indie with his So So Def label to finally get her album out. Fan support has driven the project ever since--& for good reason because, like Monica before her, Dondria is part of a movement to bring real talent & good ol' R&B back into the spotlight.
"You're The One": Her hit first single is a retro-tinged ballad that properly introduced us to those powerful pipes of hers. 4.5/5
"Saving Myself": This slow jam doesn't pop quite as much as its preceding track, but is still nice. I like the message as well, contradictory as it may be (but that's JD for ya). 4/5
"Shawty Wus Up" (ft. Johnta Austin & Diamond): Although Dondria doesn't get to show off her vocals as much on this one, I must say that I enjoy listening to her tone on the track. We don't get to hear much of her though, as Johnta the manwhore (who doesn't sound half bad, I'll admit) had to take up half the song. I did kinda like the rap though. 4/5
"Making Love": Another solid cut that has Dondria showin' off that voice! 4.5/5
"Can You Help Me": And now, the album REALLY begins! One of my favorites, this song is straight-up R&B right out of the '90s. Love me them "oh"s! 5/5
"Where Did We Go Wrong": (I'm always trying to get this one confused with the previous track, as she says "where did we go wrong" in the chorus of it. lol) Pretty sure this is everyone's favorite track, & rightfully so. Veterans, take note: This is how you do a slow jam. 2:07, baby! 5/5
"No More": What can I say? Life! She rides the sample (50 Cent's "21 Questions", I believe) exquisitely. 5/5
"Still Be With Me": She doesn't go in quite as much on this one, but who says you have to be wailing all the time? This is a gorgeous song & she sings it beautifully. 5/5
"You're The One (JD's Jeep Mix)": I'm not gonna say that I like this version better than the original... but I don't like it any less. It reminds me of the good ol' days! 4.5/5
"Believer": I love the vibe of this song! It's laid back &... what other song is like this?! Plus, her vocals are on-point as always. 4.5/5
"Kissed By The Sun": Lovely way to cap off the album. Wonderful vocal display from Dondria & beautiful piano playing from B. Cox. 4.5/5
Dondria ain't playin' around with her debut. She sings her butt off & we thank her for it. It sounds like she's found a lane that works for her, if more people would just get behind her.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars