Growing up, I heard “One in a Million” and other hits. I didn’t become a fan until her last red album, “Aaliyah”. That album was brilliant. That was a true R&B album, with soul, heart and smoothness. I bought her last album after her death and I knew I would have become a big fan. I’m picky with who I become a fan of, Madonna is my idol, I love Michael Jackson, but Aaliyah was going to be up there for me too. I would have went to concerts, etc.
With that last album, it starts off strong with “We Need a Resolution”. The production on that song is still relevant today and doesn’t sound old at all. It’s also not mimicked at all, it stands alone as an original sounding song.
“Rock the Boat” is such a calming song, great groove and this song is the last music video Aaliyah performed in. This song is special for me. I always think of white sandy beaches and clear blue waters.
“I Care 4 U”, wow, if you are really crushing hard on someone, this song will pull on your heartstrings until you can’t bare it anymore. “Extra Smooth” and “More Than a Woman” have good upbeat grooves, something you can jam to and dance to.
This album is also interesting and unique because it also discusses domestic abuse, something I don’t really hear much of and still don’t hear much of. Of becoming a stronger woman and leaving a bad situation, and I think these songs are sorely needed to inspire women to reflect on a negative relationship. “Never No More” and “I Refuse” talk about domestic abuse, and “I Refuse” is a beautiful song, with good harmonies, and a dramatic piano.
Also, another interesting topic Aaliyah discusses, is cheating. In “I Can Be” the intro is haunting, and the song discusses being “the other woman”, letting the man cheat on his girlfriend with her. Although it’s a taboo topic, not really something a girl strives for in life, this song has a seductive energy to it, and it is one of my favorite songs on the album.
In “Those Were the Days” Aaliyah sings about a broken relationship. What it’s like when a relationship is over. Something everyone can relate to.
The album ends with “What If”, a very distorted guitar, I can’t describe what the instruments are. Disturbing sounds, but it works and this song is about turning the tables on a man and treating him the way she is treated by him.
This album has stories about being a strong woman, giving into weaknesses and all the rhythm and soul packed into a beautiful album.
And this album is over ten years old, and it stands the test of time. RIP Aaliyah.