Point Of No Return

Artist: ShareefaTitle: Point Of No ReturnRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Starrene Rhett

Shareefa sings with the passion of a talented inmate who wants to get free to pursue her dreams of stardom. That dream has become a reality for Disturbing Tha Peace's newest crooner. Her debut Point of No Return (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam) takes the listener on a soulful journey about everything ranging from phony people, to the typical topics that fall under the umbrella of love such as cheating, holleration and being in love with someone who is toxic. Although the subject matter is nothing new, Shareefa is a talented singer and songwriter, as well as a skilled storyteller who creatively and effectively conveys her messages.

Rodney Jerkins' presence is felt on production, which complements Shareefa's strong voice well. All of the songs are definitely worth checking out, but out of the 15 tracks, the standouts are her single, "Need a Boss" (of course), "Assumptions", a gospel-style response to people who wrongfully judge her, "Hey Babe (Give Me Ya Luvin')", a duet with Bobby Valentino, "How Good Luv Feels", which sounds like it's channeling Mary J. Blige circa '92, and "No One Said," about every day struggles. "No One Said" samples the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Everyday Struggle (Ready to Die)" and Shareefa does a good job flipping the song, successfully making it her own but universal enough so that other women can relate.

The overall theme of the album is basically about overcoming, however it gets a little redundant at times, especially the "I'm in love with a thug" scenarios prevalent throughout. But that doesn't stop Point of No Return from being a strong debut for Shareefa and a good indicator that she may be around for a while.