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The Boy Is Mine is Monica's second studio album that was released on July 14, 1998 by Arista Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Street Symphony 5:36
  2. The Boy Is Mine (with Brandy) 4:50
  3. Ring Da Bell 4:23
  4. The First Night 3:55
  5. Misty Blue 4:21
  6. Angel Of Mine 4:10
  7. Gone Be Fine (featuring OutKast) 4:17
  8. Inside 4:11
  9. Take Him Back 4:27
  10. Right Here Waiting (featuring 112) 4:29
  11. 'Cross The Room 3:51
  12. I Keep It To Myself 4:25
  13. For You I Will 4:54

Album BackgroundEdit

After the success of her 1995 debut album, Monica entered recording studios in 1997 to start work on her second album. Again, she worked closely with Dallas Austin on the bulk of the album who shared executive producer credit with Davis on the album.

"Very personally involved" with the project, Davis consulted additional producers to work with the singer, including David Foster and Jermaine Dupri, the latter of which would become a frequent collaborator on subsequent projects.

He also lined Monica up with several Diane Warren songs.

A breakaway from the material on her debut, Monica considered the album a natural progression, saying: "I was 13 then; the themes weren't as mature. I'm trying to portray a more assertive young female [...] I'm 17 now; my lyrics aren't sexually explicit but are about love and being in love."

While Monica reportedly co-wrote several tracks for the album, none of them made the final cut.

Chart PerformanceEdit

"The Boy Is Mine" debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 91,000 copies (which opened to nearly three times as many units as her debut album), making it her first top 10 entry on the Billboard 200.

The album also debuted at #2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it her first album to reach the top three on the chart.

"The Boy Is Mine" sold nearly 526,000 copies during its first two months of release and more than 860,000 copies until the end of 1998. It was certified triple platinum by the RIAA, denoting shipments of over 3 million copies within the United States.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album's stateside sales are estimated at over 2,016,000, including sales from BMG music clubs.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"The Boy Is Mine" garnered generally mixed to positive reviews from contemporary music critics, many of whom liked the album's ballads and classic sound, praising Monica for her vocal performance.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic gave the album four out of five stars, complimenting the album as a whole, claiming it to be "as good as mainstream urban R&B gets in 1998."

He felt that the album compromised "a better, more consistent batch of songs" when in comparison to her debut album, led by productions from Dallas Austin who "not only does he give her songs immaculately crafted musical backdrops – both ballads and up-tempo dance numbers sound irresistible – but he helps her cultivate her voice so she sounds more mature than her 17 years."

Connie Johnson from the Los Angeles Times rated the album three-and-a-half out of a possible four stars. After comparing her to Brandy, she found that Monica "really has more in common with label-mates Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton. Like them, she's a major league talent who knows it takes more than a great and memorable voice to bat the ball out of the park – and it's a pleasure to recommend someone with that type of professional savvy."

Natasha Stovall from the Rolling Stone gave The Boy Is Mine a mixed review, describing it as "a more classic path, with help from the cool hand of producer Dallas Austin." She found that the songs "hearken back past hip-hop songbirds like Mary J. Blige and adult-contemporary sirens like Toni Braxton to someplace closer to soul's source."

Praising her vocals, Stovall commented that "Monica uses her honey-dipped, church-worthy voice to lift her radiofriendly tunes – and, hopefully, the rest of contemporary R&B – to a higher plane."

Entertainment Weekly was critical on the amount of "mid-tempo ballads about love lost", but was positive towards the other songs on the album, writing that "much of this groove-driven disc, like the Jermaine Dupri-produced "The First Night", should keep her airwave run alive. Transcendent nuggets like "Street Symphony" showcase her voluptuous vocals."

Generally positive toward the album, Vibe magazine felt that "no longer encumbered by the extreme youth that made some of the more sensuous moments on Miss Thang vaguely embarrassing, Monica embraces womanhood with the full force of her raspy, resonant alto and flourishing postadolescent libido."

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