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Volume 68, Issue 92, February 10, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Songs of an angel: 'Care' drops today

By Brian Spencer
The Daily Cougar

Aaliyahis I Care 4 U is a posthumous collection of the late singeris hits and unreleased tracks. As a vocalist, Aaliyah was just beginning to come into her own prior to the untimely plane crash that took her life. At the time, she occupied a sparsely populated artistic middle ground, more deeply soulful than the lightweight Janet Jackson yet not quite as heavy as Macy Gray.

Aaliyahis much anticipated album I Care 4 U hits stores today. The CD features a mix of unreleased and hit songs.
Photo by Marc Baptiste

The hipper-than-hip Timbaland produced many of this albumis 15 tracks, and some of the cuts also feature Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliottis street-smart lyrics.

In covering Marvin Gayeis "Got To Give It Up" and the Isley Brothersi ballad "At Your Best," Aaliyah also exhibits a deep appreciation for classic soul music.

Half the release is comprised of Aaliyah hit songs. These range from "Back And Forth," which is from her R. Kelly-produced and ironically named Age Ainit Nothing but a Number debut, to tracks from her last full studio release, which was simply titled Aaliyah. Tracks from this final release include "I Care For You" and "More than a Woman." Strangely enough, the songs "We Need a Resolution" and "Rock The Boat," which were also singles from this release, are not included on this compilation.

In addition to combining Aaliyahis three solo album releases for worthy tracks, her singles "Try Again" from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack and "Are You That Somebody" from the film Dr. Dolittle are also found here. You just gotta love how the "Dolittle" single samples a baby crying. Itis a further reminder of just why Timbalandis name is almost omnipresent in todayis r&b world.

Of the new tracks, "Erica Kane" is the most curious one. Is this song about a fascinating fictitious person, or could it be the Susan Lucci character on All My Children? Another new song, "Come Over," features Tank. Itis hard to tell where Aaliyahis female voice ends and Tankis high and soulfully lonesome singing begins.

Nobody knows for certain how much Aaliyah could have accomplished had she been given more time on this earth. This release contains plenty of reasons to believe she was more than likely destined for long-lasting greatness.

I Care 4 U


Universal Records

The verdict: This mix of old and new cuts proves Aaliyahis sound is timeless.

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