The Price Is Right

Kelly Price's sophomore album, Mirror Mirror, is nothing if not emotional. She covers the spectrum of feelings: the agony of unrequited love ("Mirror Mirror"), the torment of a mother being away from her children ("The Lullaby"), the rage of a lover being played ("Married Man" and "Three Strikes") and the bliss of finding Mr. Right ("Good Love" and "Like You Do"). On this follow-up to 1998's Soul of a Woman, the acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer dishes it out and takes it in equal portions.

On "You Should've Told Me" (RealAudio excerpt), Price laments the woulda-shoulda-coulda's that destroyed a relationship, while "At Least (Little Things)" is the anthem of every woman (and man) who's been taken for granted by a lover.

Although she could easily do so, Price does not soar through Mirror Mirror alone. Rapper Method Man joins her on the sexy "Like You Do" (RealAudio excerpt) and soulmen K-Ci Hailey and Gerald Levert play parts in a love triangle with a rather wishy-washy Price caught in the middle. On the album's first single, a remake of the Shirley Murdock classic "As We Lay" (RealAudio excerpt), Price, who has the star power and skill to take liberties with the song, instead opts to stay true to the original, making her version as much a tribute as a cover.

There are no sleepers on this album. From the bluesy, almost hymnal "Can't Run Away" to the sadly sweet "The Lullaby" (which features Price's 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter), the songs on Mirror Mirror are a reflection of real life and an indication of real artistry. Price's rich, throaty contralto — so full of texture and feeling — makes the package irresistibly complete.