Today marks a joyous day for me because I get the chance to review an album from an extraordinary singer by the name of Mina Leon. The name of the album is called Running Red Lights and it features production from frequent collaborator Tef Wesley, ST/MiC and more. The project also features guest appearances from K-Beta, Waterloo, Tef Wesley and ST/MiC. The project is twelve songs long and the album represents growth.
Mina Leon, who currently resides in Okinawa, Japan, has Virginia ties and has been working on Running Red Lights for a while now.
Running Red Lights starts strong with "Intro," a track that serves as an introduction to Mina Leon's talents and it provides the pace for the rest of the project. "New Day" is a great track that is positive and promotes leaving the past behind. "New Day" actually sums up my mindset this year. Mina sings:
Do things your way (yesterday is but a memory for)
(You are the only one) that has the power to make that day come
Make that day...a brand new day
The chorus section sheds light on Mina's songwriting prowess. The thing that makes Mina's material easy to listen to is the choice of topics and her natural singing ability. Mina touches on the concept of love and the chase associated with love on the Waterloo assisted "The Chase," Mina presents a song that defines the relationship between father and daughter on "Hello" and she expresses the connection between lovers on the secrecy driven song "Our Little Secret." "Hello" is a track that revolves around the relationship her father and daughter. The first verse highlights the future, the second verse highlights her daughter at six years old and the third verse highlights words that Mina relays to her daughter on a daily basis. This track definitely has high replay value because people will be able to relate to it (come to find out my interpretation was wrong, I thought that "Hello" was about the relationship with the heavenly father). I also love "Nameless" because Mina directs her energy towards a nameless person. The ultimate sign of disrespect is not referring to someone by name or calling someone out of name. I love the third verse the best. I also love the vibe of "I'm Tired" because Mina expresses real emotion revolving around carrying around a heavy burden (these burdens can be emotional, mental, physical and spiritual).
The production of the album is solid and it gives Mina room to express herself. Mina definitely has an ear for beats and sounds very confident over the assigned production. I love the simplistic production on "Circle Games" because it placed the value on the words and the content truly shines. Mina also shines on tracks with features (check out "What If," "Anything" and "Music (Where Are You?"). "What If" is a nice track that features DMV based emcee K-Beta. I love the vibe of "Anything" and Tef Wesley and ST/MiC deliver stellar verses. "Anything" touches on the growth of a woman and being able to fulfill anything in life. "Music (Where Are You?)" is another strong song where Mina and Tef Wesley are trying to find out what happened to music. I love Tef Wesley's approach over the ST/MiC's production (he relates music to being his girlfriend).
Overall Running Red Lights is a lovely album that gives Mina the opportunity to present her song writing ability. Running Red Lights proves that Mina will not let her past dictate her future. The content is truly supreme on this project and I am glad that I had the opportunity to review this project. I think that every song on this project has appeal based on the targeted audience. Mina does a great job expressing her innermost feelings and concludes the album perfectly with the introspective driven "Tomorrow." Make sure you head over to Mina's Bandcamp on January 12th and download the project.