Saturday, August 28, 2010

Album Review: Fantasia "Back To Me"

Needless to say, it's been quite an eventful ride since the release of Fantasia's self-titled sophomore effort was released four years ago. After doing "The Color Purple" musical for a while, Fantasia decided it was time to get back to her music & as a result, we were treated to her Fantasia For Real reality show as a way of getting the singer back into the spotlight. Then, of course, personal drama in recent weeks did more to get her back into the headlines than any of that. However, as the title would suggest, Fantasia's third album Back To Me is about the American Idol winner focusing on her music once again. And we can all be thankful for that!

"I'm Doin' Me": Anyone who's seen how Fantasia has taken on the role of caretaker for her entire family on her reality show knows the significance of this song. You can really feel Fantasia on this one, which naturally sets the mood for the record quite nicely. 4.5/5

"Bittersweet": The lead single off Back To Me is the definition of soulful, which is undoubtedly Fantasia's 'sweet' spot. 4.5/5

"Man Of The House": I'm not gonna lie: I think this kinda pales in comparison to the ghetto-fab uptempos on Fantasia, but I do like it. 4/5

"Who's Been Lovin' You": Another excellent offering of soul from 'Tasia. 4.5/5

"Collard Greens & Cornbread": Best song on the album, hands down. I would even go as far as to say that this old school joint is one of her best tracks to date. 5/5

"Teach Me": This laid back song features some pretty incredible vocals! 4.5/5

"Move On Me": I don't know why the label had a hard time considering this one for the album's first single because it offers the same soulful vibe as "Bittersweet", but is just more lively. 4.5/5

"Trust Him": This track may not stick out in particular, but it's a solid one with some great vocals that helps maintain the tone of the album. 4.5/5

"The Thrill Is Gone" (ft. Cee-Lo): Fantasia goes IN on this song, there's no denying it. In addition, it's meaning has obviously become enhanced due to recent events. And, although I'm not usually one for "slam poetry" or what have you, I find Mr. Green's part a welcome addition to the track. 5/5

"Falling In Love Tonight": I kinda consider this one album filler, although there's nothing really wrong with it. I really like the instrumental outro actually. 4/5

"Even Angels": I've loved this one ever since they previewed it on Fantasia For Real. She turns what could be considered run-of-the-mill production & turns it into somewhat of a masterpiece! 5/5

"I'm Here": I'm super thankful that they included a recording of her character's signature tune from "The Color Purple" here at the end. As we've seen in previous performances, it's simply breathtaking! 5/5

So, as you can see, Back To Me is one heck of a solid album. Now, I wish they had included "The Worst Part Is Over" because that's one of my favs from this era... & why they didn't include "Overhead" (leaked or not) is a mystery to me, considering how relevant its subject matter is... but at least we have them! For me personally, Fantasia had a lot to live up to with this record because I adore her self-titled album. However, I think she did a fine job with it--& not only that, but the fact that she succeeded (...duh...) at a retro-soul album when she did current/trendy so well back in '06 just goes to prove that she can, in fact, sing anything!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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