Monica is a legend in the music industry, serving R&B since she was 12 years old. Over her 30-plus-year career, she’s sold millions of records and captivated fans worldwide. While the critics may not show Monica the love she deserves, each of her eight studio albums proves her vocal talents. But of the bunch, which rises to the top? Read on for Blavity’s top five Monica albums.

5. The Makings of Me (2006)

Album of the Year score: 75

Fans of Monica may strongly disagree with this placement, but it’s obvious Monica loosened the reigns while creating The Makings of Me. The album feels like her in her truest form — it’s playful, a little in-your-face and unabashed. The album even features the singer spitting a few bars. Songs like “A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me),” “Raw” and “Gotta Move On” sound nothing like the Monica we’ve come to know, and that’s what’s great about it: it’s different. 

Fun Fact: Monica is scheduled to perform June 14-15, 2024, at this exciting Nashville music festival, hosted by Blavity House Party. Get tickets here.

4. Code Red (2015)

Album of the Year score: 60

Code Red came on time in 2015. R&B was in a crisis, and Monica was its devoted savior. The album is packed with solid ballads that showcase Monica’s vocal ability, which is always a sweet treat. While songs like “Just Right for Me,” “Alone in Your Heart,” and “Deep” are playful and nostalgic, Code Red lacked a memorable, project-defining hit, which often makes it one of Monica’s more forgotten projects.

3. The Boy Is Mine (1998)

Album of the Year score: 65

The pressure was on Monica following the success of her debut album, Miss Thang. Listeners and critics had high expectations for her sophomore effort. Monica rose to the occasion with The Boy Is Mine, doing something that most who rise to popularity in their youth struggle to do: reintroduce a more mature version of themselves to the world. Songs like “Gone Be Fine,” “Across the Room” and “I Keep It to Myself” proved that Monica knew who she was and where she was headed.

2. Miss Thang (1995)

Album of the Year score: 50

There have been few debuts more iconic than Monica’s with Miss Thang. At just 15 years old, she already exhibited incomprehensible musical talents. Her vocals have never been stronger, and Monica doesn’t miss one note on Miss Thang, which includes songs like “With You,” “Tell Me if You Still Care,” and “Let’s Straighten It Out.” The emotional depth she’s able to achieve, especially at her age, is a marvel and cements Miss Thang as one of the strongest R&B albums ever. 

1. After the Storm (2004)

Album of the Year score: 70

After the Storm is undeniably Monica at her best. Not only are her vocals as strong as they are on Miss Thang, but she takes advantage of hip-hop’s evolving elements to produce a genuinely unique sound. An unbelievable comeback from All Eyez on Me, the singer was fired up and ready to show listeners what she could do. With songs like “So Gone,” arguably one of Monica’s best songs everAfter the Storm is an exciting and satisfying ride.

Get ready for the Blavity House Party Music Festival!

The Blavity House Party Music Festival will feature performances from Monica, Lil Wayne, Victoria Monét, Leon Thomas BLXST, Dru Hill, Ryan Leslie, Shenseea, Big Freedia and more.

Taking place on June 14 and June 15 at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, the festival will also have a Black-owned marketplace, intimate dinners, VIP lounges, brand experiences, after-parties and exclusive merch.

Learn more and get tickets at