First Hit #1: June 6, 1998
The Boy Is Mine is a really fun idea for a song, and that might be part of the reason for its success. Two girls fighting over the same guy gives a lot of opportunity for harmonizing as well as having two singers trading off lines as they go around. It is the kind of thing that could take two singers and make something kind of fun out of it. The fact that the lyrics don’t actually favor one lyricist over the other makes for a nice bit of interplay and allows Brandy and Monica to play off each other and make something that’s pretty fun.
Small problem though, I can’t actually tell them apart. They’re singers in the exact same range, singing the exact same style. Monica’s vocal is a bit cleaner, Brandy has a bit of smokiness that she doesn’t, but it takes a lot of concentration to actually be able to tell the difference. This isn’t a detriment in the chorus, since it works for the same reason a singer harmonizing with themselves works, but it isn’t quite as effective when they’re supposed to be fighting in the verses. They’re just not different enough, and one has to actually learn the intricacies of their voices before they can appreciate the interplay between them. Even after listening several times, there were a lot of times when I couldn’t figure out who was supposed to be delivering each part. It’s a fun song, no question, but no matter how different Brandy and Monica might have been in their personality, they just don’t have very different voices.