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Fantasia - Fantasia

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Fantasia

Fantasia

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Fantasia Barrino's first album, Free Yourself, wasn't exactly a flop but it wasn't a hit, either. It debuted in the Top Ten and had four singles in the Billboard R&B charts, which is far from a disaster but it was a disappointment by American Idol standards, particularly for a vocalist who was considered by many viewers, as well as judge Simon Cowell, the most talented singer to yet appear on the show. Talented Fantasia certainly was, but talent can be hard to sell, and Fantasia's problem boiled down to this: she had enough raw vocal power to draw comparisons to such classic soul divas as Aretha Franklin, which is what appealed to the legions of middle-America fans of the show, but that's not a style that has much to do with contemporary R&B, so she was given a modern makeover on Free Yourself. It was a cautious one, though, leaving remnants of her Idol persona -- most evident on a reprise of her show-stopping interpretation of Gershwin's "Summertime" -- surrounded by hip-hop-inflected urban soul like the single "Baby Mama," which was precisely the kind of thing that made fans of "Summertime" recoil. And recoil they did. They wound up avoiding the album, and "Baby Mama" didn't win enough converts to make up for the Idol audience's absence, so Fantasia and company took the only logical step for her eponymous sophomore album: they made it strictly R&B. Since it adheres to just one style of music, Fantasia is a more consistent album than her debut; it has a sense of purpose and it takes greater risks in the production, two things which make it a bolder, better album than Free Yourself. Fantasia is a hard R&B album through and through, a distinction made clear by the album-opening "Hood Boy," a dynamite single built on a blaring Supremes sample and featuring a rap from Big Boi that sets the tone for the rest of the record. Like Destiny's Child in Soldier, Fantasia is celebrating thugs, and with the day-glo Supremes sample skipping and stuttering in circles, "Hood Boy" sounds not unlike an updated version of Ike & Tina, as Fantasia desperately pledges her devotion to strong men. It's inspired in concept and delivery, as Barrino puts her all into it and it works: with this one track, she sheds her AmIdol past and remakes herself into a vibrant, vital diva. Even when things slow down for the ballads Fantasia never sounds schlocky; the songs sound made for DJs and clubs, which is why the album is at its best when it sticks close to that updated '70s soul feel, as on "Baby Makin' Hips" which doesn't hit as hard as "Hood Boy" but it's equally alluring in its cool reserve. So, the sound is right on Fantasia, as is Barrino's performance: she delivers on the promise she displayed on the show, sounding like a full-throttle powerhouse on the faster songs and smoldering on the slower ones. That leaves the only problem of the record: the songs aren't all that great. There are exceptions -- the previously mentioned "Hood Boy" and "Baby Makin' Hips," of course, but also a handful of others, such as the slow-burning "Two Weeks Notice," co-written by Missy Elliott -- but this is a record that rides on its sound, whether it's coming from Fantasia or from the producers, who always present her at her best. This is enough to make Fantasia better as an album and statement of purpose than Free Yourself, but no matter how good tracks like "Uneligible" sound -- and with its fuzz-toned instrumental breaks and skeletal beats, the track does sound pretty great -- it's hard not to wish that there were hooks as memorable as the production. That said, Fantasia does its job: it may not be perfect, but it fully breaks Barrino free of her American Idol persona, giving her a sound and style that she can build a career upon.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Fantasia

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1
Hood Boy Radio Edit
Fantasia featuring Big Boi
00:03:34

Aaron Fessel, Recording Engineer - Anthony McIntyre, Composer - Anthony McIntyre, Lyricist - Antwan Patton, Composer - Antwan Patton, Lyricist - Brian Holland, Composer - Brian Holland, Lyricist - Chris Caramouche, Recording Engineer - Eddie Holland, Composer - Eddie Holland, Lyricist - Fantasia featuring Big Boi, Performer - Frank DeVol, Composer - Frank DeVol, Lyricist - Johntà Austin, Composer - Johntà Austin, Lyricist - Johntà Austin, Producer - Lamont Dozier, Composer - Lamont Dozier, Lyricist - Manny Marroquin, Mixing Engineer - Tatsuya Sato, Recording Engineer - Tone Mason, Producer

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

2
When I See U
Fantasia
00:03:37

Bruce Waynne, Producer - Dirty Swift, Keyboards - Dirty Swift, Mixing Engineer - Dirty Swift, Programmer - Erika Nuri, Composer - Erika Nuri, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - Janet Sewell, Composer - Janet Sewell, Lyricist - Kevin Risto, Composer - Kevin Risto, Lyricist - Lola, 2nd Engineer - Louis Biancaniello, Composer - Louis Biancaniello, Keyboards - Louis Biancaniello, Lyricist - Louis Biancaniello, Programmer - Midi Mafia, Producer - Mzmeriq, Producer - Ruben Rivera, Recording Engineer - Sam Watters, Composer - Sam Watters, Lyricist - Waynne Nugent, Composer - Waynne Nugent, Lyricist

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

3
I Nominate U
Fantasia
00:04:34

Andre Harris, Composer - Andre Harris, Lyricist - Andre Harris, Performer - Andre Harris, Producer - Balewa Muhammad, Composer - Balewa Muhammad, Lyricist - Brian Sumner, Recording Engineer - Candice Nelson, Composer - Candice Nelson, Lyricist - Ezekiel Lewis, Composer - Ezekiel Lewis, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - Geoff Rice, 2nd Engineer - Jamar Jones, Arranger - Mike Tsafarti, Recording Engineer - Patrick Smith, Composer - Patrick Smith, Lyricist - Vidal Davis, Composer - Vidal Davis, Lyricist - Vidal Davis, Performer - Vidal Davis, Producer - Vince Dilorenzo, Mixing Engineer

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

4
Baby Makin' Hips
Fantasia
00:03:20

Al Green, Composer - Al Green, Lyricist - Alexander Chiger, Composer - Alexander Chiger, Lyricist - Andre Harris, Composer - Andre Harris, Lyricist - Andre Harris, Performer - Andre Harris, Producer - Balewa Muhammad, Composer - Balewa Muhammad, Lyricist - Brian Sumner, Recording Engineer - Candice Nelson, Composer - Candice Nelson, Lyricist - Candice Nelson, Scratches - Dirty Harry, Co-Producer - Don Cheegro, Co-Producer - Ezekiel Lewis, Composer - Ezekiel Lewis, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - Geoff Rice, 2nd Engineer - Harry Zelnick, Composer - Harry Zelnick, Lyricist - Jeff Bradshaw, Trombone - Lamont Caldwell, Saxophone - Matt Cappy, Trumpet - Mike Tsafarti, Recording Engineer - Patrick Smith, Composer - Patrick Smith, Lyricist - Vidal Davis, Composer - Vidal Davis, Lyricist - Vidal Davis, Performer - Vidal Davis, Producer - Vince Dilorenzo, Mixing Engineer - Willie Mitchell, Composer - Willie Mitchell, Lyricist

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

5
Not The Way That I Do
Fantasia
00:03:35

A Kid Named Cus, Mixing Engineer - Fantasia, Performer - Kwamé Holland, Composer - Kwamé Holland, Lyricist - Kwamé Holland, Mixing Engineer - Kwamé Holland, Producer - Kwamé Holland, Recording Engineer - Sean Garrett, Co-Producer - Sean Garrett, Composer - Sean Garrett, Lyricist - Tatsuya Sato, Recording Engineer - Vernon Mungo, Recording Engineer

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

6
Only One U
Fantasia
00:03:59

Aaron Fessel, Recording Engineer - Balewa Muhammad, Composer - Balewa Muhammad, Lyricist - Bryan-Michael Cox, Composer - Bryan-Michael Cox, Lyricist - Bryan-Michael Cox, Producer - Candice Nelson, Composer - Candice Nelson, Lyricist - Ezekiel Lewis, Composer - Ezekiel Lewis, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - Manny Marroquin, Mixing Engineer - Sam Thomas, Recording Engineer

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

7
I Feel Beautiful
Fantasia
00:03:31

Babyface, Performer - Babyface, Producer - Diane Warren, Composer - Diane Warren, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - Jon Gass, Mixing Engineer - Paul Boutin, Engineer - Peter Stengaard, Producer

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

8
I'm Not That Type
Fantasia
00:04:06

Cainon Lamb, Co-Producer - Cainon Lamb, Composer - Cainon Lamb, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - Missy Elliott, Composer - Missy Elliott, Lyricist - Missy Elliott, Producer - Missy Elliott, Recording Engineer - Paul J. Falcone, Mixing Engineer - Paul J. Falcone, Recording Engineer - Taurian Osbourne, Performer

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

9
Uneligible
Fantasia
00:02:59

Balewa Muhammad, Composer - Balewa Muhammad, Lyricist - Candice Nelson, Composer - Candice Nelson, Lyricist - Chris Spilfogel, Recording Engineer - Danja, Producer - Fantasia, Performer - Marcella Araica, Mixing Engineer - Marcella Araica, Recording Engineer - Miguel Bustamante, 2nd Engineer - Nate Hills, Composer - Nate Hills, Lyricist

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

10
Two Weeks Notice
Fantasia
00:04:42

Brian Cockerham, Acoustic Bass - Cainon Lamb, Programmer - Corte Ellis, Background Vocal - Corte Ellis, Composer - Corte Ellis, Lyricist - Corte Ellis, Producer - Corte Ellis, Recording Engineer - Craig Brockman, Co-Producer - Craig Brockman, Composer - Craig Brockman, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - Kenneth Whalum III, Trumpet - Lee Hogans, Trumpet - Missy Elliott, Composer - Missy Elliott, Lyricist - Missy Elliott, Producer - Paul J. Falcone, Mixing Engineer - Paul J. Falcone, Recording Engineer - Peter Rogers, Keyboards - Sanders Sermons, Trumpet

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

11
Surround U
Fantasia
00:03:19

Alonzo Vargas, Recording Engineer - Brian Warwick, Recording Engineer - Denzil Miller, Composer - Denzil Miller, Lyricist - Fantasia, Performer - James Brown, Composer - James Brown, Lyricist - James Moore, Composer - James Moore, Lyricist - Kasseem Dean, Composer - Kasseem Dean, Lyricist - Kurt Walker, Composer - Kurt Walker, Lyricist - Lawrence Smith, Composer - Lawrence Smith, Lyricist - Makeba Riddick, Composer - Makeba Riddick, Lyricist - Rich Keller, Mixing Engineer - Robert Ford, Composer - Robert Ford, Lyricist - Swizz Beatz, Producer

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

12
Bore Me (Yawn)
Fantasia
00:02:54

Balewa Muhammad, Composer - Balewa Muhammad, Lyricist - Candice Nelson, Composer - Candice Nelson, Lyricist - Chris Spilfogel, Recording Engineer - Danja, Producer - Fantasia, Performer - James Washington, Composer - James Washington, Lyricist - Javier Valverde, 2nd Engineer - Jimmy Douglass, Mixing Engineer - Marcella Araica, Recording Engineer - Nate Hills, Composer - Nate Hills, Lyricist

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

13
Sunshine
Fantasia
00:03:46

Cainon Lamb, Composer - Cainon Lamb, Lyricist - Cainon Lamb, Producer - Dave Russell, Mixing Engineer - Fantasia, Performer - Harold Lilly, Composer - Harold Lilly, Lyricist - Harold Lilly, Producer - Phil Margaziotis, Recording Engineer - Taurian Osbourne, Strings

(P) 2006 19 Recordings Limited

14
Bump What Your Friends Say
Fantasia
00:04:43

Corte Ellis, Recording Engineer - Fantasia, Performer - Karriem Mack, Composer - Karriem Mack, Lyricist - LaShaun Owens, Composer - LaShaun Owens, Lyricist - Missy Elliott, Composer - Missy Elliott, Lyricist - Missy Elliott, Producer - Missy Elliott, Vocal - Paul J. Falcone, Mixing Engineer - Paul J. Falcone, Recording Engineer - Philip Lees, Co-Producer - Philip Lees, Composer - Philip Lees, Lyricist - Souldiggaz, Co-Producer

(P) 2006 19 Recording Limited

Albumbeschreibung

Fantasia Barrino's first album, Free Yourself, wasn't exactly a flop but it wasn't a hit, either. It debuted in the Top Ten and had four singles in the Billboard R&B charts, which is far from a disaster but it was a disappointment by American Idol standards, particularly for a vocalist who was considered by many viewers, as well as judge Simon Cowell, the most talented singer to yet appear on the show. Talented Fantasia certainly was, but talent can be hard to sell, and Fantasia's problem boiled down to this: she had enough raw vocal power to draw comparisons to such classic soul divas as Aretha Franklin, which is what appealed to the legions of middle-America fans of the show, but that's not a style that has much to do with contemporary R&B, so she was given a modern makeover on Free Yourself. It was a cautious one, though, leaving remnants of her Idol persona -- most evident on a reprise of her show-stopping interpretation of Gershwin's "Summertime" -- surrounded by hip-hop-inflected urban soul like the single "Baby Mama," which was precisely the kind of thing that made fans of "Summertime" recoil. And recoil they did. They wound up avoiding the album, and "Baby Mama" didn't win enough converts to make up for the Idol audience's absence, so Fantasia and company took the only logical step for her eponymous sophomore album: they made it strictly R&B. Since it adheres to just one style of music, Fantasia is a more consistent album than her debut; it has a sense of purpose and it takes greater risks in the production, two things which make it a bolder, better album than Free Yourself. Fantasia is a hard R&B album through and through, a distinction made clear by the album-opening "Hood Boy," a dynamite single built on a blaring Supremes sample and featuring a rap from Big Boi that sets the tone for the rest of the record. Like Destiny's Child in Soldier, Fantasia is celebrating thugs, and with the day-glo Supremes sample skipping and stuttering in circles, "Hood Boy" sounds not unlike an updated version of Ike & Tina, as Fantasia desperately pledges her devotion to strong men. It's inspired in concept and delivery, as Barrino puts her all into it and it works: with this one track, she sheds her AmIdol past and remakes herself into a vibrant, vital diva. Even when things slow down for the ballads Fantasia never sounds schlocky; the songs sound made for DJs and clubs, which is why the album is at its best when it sticks close to that updated '70s soul feel, as on "Baby Makin' Hips" which doesn't hit as hard as "Hood Boy" but it's equally alluring in its cool reserve. So, the sound is right on Fantasia, as is Barrino's performance: she delivers on the promise she displayed on the show, sounding like a full-throttle powerhouse on the faster songs and smoldering on the slower ones. That leaves the only problem of the record: the songs aren't all that great. There are exceptions -- the previously mentioned "Hood Boy" and "Baby Makin' Hips," of course, but also a handful of others, such as the slow-burning "Two Weeks Notice," co-written by Missy Elliott -- but this is a record that rides on its sound, whether it's coming from Fantasia or from the producers, who always present her at her best. This is enough to make Fantasia better as an album and statement of purpose than Free Yourself, but no matter how good tracks like "Uneligible" sound -- and with its fuzz-toned instrumental breaks and skeletal beats, the track does sound pretty great -- it's hard not to wish that there were hooks as memorable as the production. That said, Fantasia does its job: it may not be perfect, but it fully breaks Barrino free of her American Idol persona, giving her a sound and style that she can build a career upon.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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