How to Be a Lady: Volume 1

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How to Be a Lady: Volume 1
Studio album by Electrik Red
Released May 26, 2009
Genre R&B
Length 52:00
Label Radio Killa, Def Jam
Producer The-Dream (also exec.), L.O.S Da Mystro, Sean K., Tricky Stewart (also exec.)
Singles from How to Be a Lady: Volume 1
  1. "Drink in My Cup"
    Released: December 2008
  2. "So Good"
    Released: February 3, 2009

How to Be a Lady: Volume 1 is the debut album of American R&B group Electrik Red, released May 26, 2009 on Radio Killa and Def Jam Recordings. Production and songwriting for the album was handled primarily by The-Dream and Christopher "Tricky" Stewart. How to Be a Lady is an R&B album that incorporates elements of electropop and hip hop, and contains lyrics concerning sexual and gender-related themes.

The album debuted at number 100 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 5,000 copies in its first week. It produced two singles, "Drink in My Cup" and "So Good", that achieved moderate chart success. Upon its release, How to Be a Lady: Volume 1 received generally positive reviews from most music critics. The album has sold over 5,000 copies in the United States.

Background[edit]

While working as back-up dancers for Usher in his 2004 Confessions tour,[1] Kyndra "Binkie" Reevey and Lesley Lewis asked Sarah Rosete if she wanted to be a part of their girl group. Rosete agreed to join, but requested that they meet with her best friend Naomi Allen, who they "fell in love with".[2] The group moved to Los Angeles, where they began working with different producers, including Shannon "Slam" Lawrence and Rodney Jerkins.[2] The group officially formed Electrik Red in 2005.[3] They continued to work as professional dancers, individually appearing in videos for artists such as Mariah Carey, and Janet Jackson.[1] After individually performing as dancers and models, they appeared together in Ciara's video for "Like a Boy".[2] In late 2007, Allen and Rosete were cast in the video for The-Dream's single "Shawty Is a 10".[2]

After Shakir Stewart, then-Executive Vice President of Def Jam Recordings, organized an audition for the group with label chairman L. A. Reid, they were signed to the label on February 23, 2008.[1][4] Stewart then organized a meeting for the group with The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, who cosigned Electrik Red to their Def Jam-based label, Radio Killa.[2] From then, the pair began producing their music and executive produced their debut album. The group explained they named the album as a "play on the stereotype of what a lady is supposed to be, how she is supposed to act and what she is supposed to say. We're bringing a new age woman to the world". The group wanted to show that it was "okay to be different".[4]

Singles[edit]

How to Be a Lady: Volume 1 spawned two official singles, "Drink in My Cup" and "So Good". Music videos were filmed for the singles; "Drink in My Cup" (and one for album track "Friend Lover") were directed by Marc Klasfeld.[5][6] The group shot a video for the remix of their single "So Good" with rapper Lil Wayne.[7] The album's second and final single, "So Good", has peaked at #60 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 100 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart,[9] with first-week sales of 5,000 copies in the United States.[10] It ultimately spent one week on the chart.[11] It also charted at number 20 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[13]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[14]
Pitchfork Media 8.2/10[15]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[16]

How to Be a Lady: Volume 1 received generally positive reviews from music critics. Several writers drew comparisons to the early work of musician Prince, particularly side-projects such as Apollonia 6 and Vanity 6.[13][14][17][18][19] Allmusic's Andy Kellman said that the album features "some of the best pop-R&B songs of 2009".[13] Vibe magazine's Tracy Garraud said that it "flows with easy hooks, layered composition, and eccentric idioms particular to the pair—what separates it from previous work is its raciness".[20] Blender called the group "the most musically proficient women to ever inspire drunken bar-top dancing and bad decisions".[21] The Village Voice writer Rob Harvilla highly recommended the album to "Love vs. Money devotees able to suspend both their disbelief and their feminist ardor".[22] Pitchfork Media's Tim Finney praised its songwriting and wrote that the "gratuitous little surprises" in its production make its music "feel as real and lived-in as dazzling, shiny R&B can hope to, possessing a capacity for rightness that cannot be reduced to lyrical sophistication, performative flair, or production novelty, but is borne of the kind of charisma you can possess when you take success for granted".[15] The Huffington Post's Marjon Rebecca Carlos praised the album's sexual and gender themes and its musical execution, stating "Loads of imagery, color, synth-beats and lithe forms come popping forth much to the listener's amusement".[17] The Guardian's Alex Macpherson called it "a fully-formed and magnificently executed vision – of love, of sex – set to beats that thrill and seduce in equal measure, and sung with an unabashed confidence", citing it as "one of the most essential R&B albums of the decade".[14]

In a mixed review, Rolling Stone magazine's Jon Dolan felt that the songwriting lacked "personality".[16] Jon Pareles, writing in The New York Times, commended The-Dream and Tricky Stewart for their production's "lavished musical ingenuity", but found the album's sexual themes unimaginative.[23]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Terius Nash and Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, except where noted. 

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Muah"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:56
2. "So Good" (Sean Hall, Nash, Stewart) The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Sean K. 3:25
3. "Devotion"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 4:34
4. "Freaky Freaky"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 4:17
5. "Bed Rest"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 4:30
6. "Friend Lover" (Carlos McKinney, Nash) The-Dream, L.O.S Da Mystro 3:44
7. "P Is for Power"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:49
8. "W.F.Y."   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:58
9. "9 to 5" (McKinney, Nash) The-Dream, L.O.S Da Mystro 3:33
10. "On Point"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:08
11. "Drink in My Cup"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:34
12. "Go Shawty"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:00
13. "Kill Bill"   The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:21
14. "So Good" (Remix featuring Lil Wayne) The-Dream, Tricky Stewart 3:29

Personnel[edit]

Credits for How to Be a Lady: Volume 1 adapted from Allmusic.[24]

Chart history[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Sales
U.S. Billboard 200 100[25]
5,000+[10]
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 20[12]
U.S. Billboard Comprehensive Albums 107[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Odum, Shanel (January 28, 2009). "Electrik Red". Vibe. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Shepherd, Julianne Escobedo (February 2009). "Do you think I'm a nasty girl? With super sexuality and deep swagger, R&B BFFs Electrik Red bust heads... and give hugs". The Fader. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  3. ^ Jordan, Chris (March 19, 2009). "Electrik Red lightens things up". Courier News. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Soul Rebel Speaks to Electrik Red: "It's Okay If You're Not a Stepford Wife"". SOHH. March 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  5. ^ "Electrik Red Turns Up Voltage with Debut LP". Rap-Up. January 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Video: Electrik Red - "Friend Lover"". Rap-Up. March 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  7. ^ "Lil Wayne Joins Electrik Red for Remix Video". Rap-Up. March 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  8. ^ [1]. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  9. ^ Kreps, Daniel. On the Charts: Eminem’s “Relapse” Fends Off Manson, Stays On Top. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  10. ^ a b Udoh, Meka. On The Charts: Eminem, Busta Rhymes And Electrik Red. BET. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  11. ^ Album Performance: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. acharts. Retrieved on 2010-04-27.
  12. ^ a b [2]. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  13. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.
  14. ^ a b c Macpherson, Alex. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  15. ^ a b Finney, Tim. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.
  16. ^ a b Dolan, Jon. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  17. ^ a b Carlos, Marjon Rebecca. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  18. ^ Lee, Frazi. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. Metro Spirit. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.
  19. ^ Clayton, Jeremy. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. Giant. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  20. ^ Garruad, Tracy. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. Vibe. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.
  21. ^ Electrik Red Reveal HOW TO BE A LADY On Def Jam Debut; Set For May 26 Release!. Island Def Jam. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  22. ^ Harvilla, Rob. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.
  23. ^ Pareles, Jon. Review: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.
  24. ^ Credits: How to Be a Lady: Volume 1. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  25. ^ [3]. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  26. ^ [4]. Billboard. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.

External links[edit]