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Ambient/New Age - Released October 6, 2017 | Concord Records

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Fantasia's first holiday album also marks her debut for the Concord label. Despite what the title implies, Christmas After Midnight isn't designed strictly for early-morning listening. Prior to settling into a primarily slow, quieter numbers like "The Christmas Song," "Give Love on Christmas Day," and "Silent Night," it leads with high-spirited renditions of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas" and James Brown's "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto." Additionally, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" gets a big-production gospel makeover. The lone duet is with CeeLo Green on "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (actually the second time Green has recorded the song; the first time was with Christina Aguilera, as heard on his 2012 holiday album). Fantasia put forth the same high level effort here as she did with her J/RCA output.
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R&B - Released July 29, 2016 | Rock Soul Records - 19 Recordings Limited - RCA Records

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Fantasia Barrino appeared to be steered in the right direction on Side Effects of You, at least in a creative sense. She was heavily involved in its writing, and it benefited from a limited number of collaborators. The album topped the R&B/Hip-Hop chart and peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. None of the singles, however, performed well -- likely a reason for the album five switch-up. Barrino co-wrote only one of its cuts, and primary Side Effects collaborator Harmony Samuels is out of the picture. Hands-on executive producer Ron Fair (Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Corinne Bailey Rae) is involved with each song in some capacity and oversees the input of over two-dozen fellow songwriters and producers. Unsurprisingly, the results are scattered and disjointed. The album starts with a cluttered, uptempo rock-R&B hybrid and never really stabilizes after that, abruptly moving into one of a few ballads suited more for a pop-oriented R&B artist, later involving a contemporary country number seemingly written by an algorithm, and a triumphant Tye Tribbett-driven gospel belter, among other approaches. Even in this highly variable setting, the Aloe Blacc collaboration "Roller Coasters" is utterly bizarre, like something from Janelle Monáe's Wondaland camp if they sought inspiration from folk-rockers America. One mark of consistency here is that Barrino often sounds like she's fulfilling roles, however effectively, rather than baring her soul. The most favorable pairing is with R. Kelly, who grants "Sleeping with the One I Love," a spacious, retro-styled ballad where Barrino is at her best, expressing anguish and conflicted emotions. "See my baby's like a dream, but the other man, he haunts me" is the type of line she was born to sing. ~ Andy Kellman
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Soul - Released October 11, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Sketchbook is a reset of sorts for Fantasia, newly independent after racking up a full career's worth of accomplishments -- a platinum debut, three additional Top Ten albums, and a Grammy among them -- with majors J and RCA. She's backed by a licensing deal with BMG and now has her own label, Rock Soul, named after the self-termed sound she has been plugging for years. Fantasia co-wrote all the material and is also credited as co-producer with new associate Jevon Hill, a studio veteran who has worked with high-profile artists ranging from Tamar Braxton and Tank to James Fortune and Tye Tribbett. The core of additional writers is connected to gospel more than any other genre, yet the set mixes it up as much as any previous Fantasia album. Contrary to the title, nothing sounds incomplete or even off-the-cuff. It's more like a lookbook. Skittering percussion and other mechanical, trap-styled production touches are most common, utilized to best effect on the slick testimonial "Holy Ghost" and the gospel-blues finale on which Fantasia duets with her mother, Mama Diane (Diane Barrino). She switches to early-'90s adult contemporary mode for the sparkling ballad "Enough," one of her sturdiest (if bizarrely out of time) love ballads, and not long afterward is in the present with a mismatched dancehall-lite production for the blissful "Take Off." A couple other cuts resemble peer tributes. Tearful throwback belter "Bad Girl" is Jazmine Sullivan to the core. "PTSD" is artful pop-R&B, a slinking slow jam that, heard from a distance, could be mistaken for the work of Dawn Richard (at least until T-Pain provides the album with some impulsive humor, exclaiming "Good god almighty, great googly moogly!"). There's also one rocker, the blaring intervention "Warning." It merely hints at what Fantasia might be able to do if she took a truly sketchbook-like approach in the studio. There's no telling what she'd cook up in a couple weeks of live recording with a small band fluent in funk and rock. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B/Soul - Released December 9, 2006 | J Records

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R&B/Soul - Released August 20, 2010 | J Records

The title of Fantasia’s third album Back to Me surely refers to the American Idol winner reconnecting with her roots -- a move that may be a little premature because she hasn’t abandoned them during her four-year hiatus from recording, she simply shifted her attention from the studio to the stage, taking the time to star in the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and even dabble in reality television. It was enough activity to keep her in the public eye, but not enough to elevate her profile toward superstardom, so perhaps she needed to treat Back to Me as a full-fledged comeback, if only to give her a boost toward the upper reaches of the charts. And even with a sleek throwback like “Collard Greens & Cornbread” and titles borrowed from the Jackson 5 (“Who’s Lovin’ You”) and B.B. King (the Cee-Lo Green duet "The Thrill Is Gone"), Back to Me is indeed made with modern listeners in mind, featuring contributions from producers and songwriters like Ne-Yo, Chuck Harmony and Claude Kelly. Everybody expands upon the cool stainless sheen of 2006's Fantasia, keeping the surfaces smooth and giving Barrino plenty of room to emote, smudging all the slickness with her throaty growl, grabbing attention even as the music drifts toward the generic. Fantasia doesn’t invest the songs with subtle emotion so much as she indulges in balls-out emotional overdrive, overloading these simple songs with histrionics that are compelling in the short term; even if they’re exhausting over the long haul, these full-throttle pyrotechnics make Back to Me her most interesting album. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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R&B/Soul - Released November 22, 2004 | J Records

"Love you Clive Davis, thanks for being so gangsta!" So says Fantasia Barrino -- now simply billed as "Fantasia" since divas are, by law, not allowed to have more than one name -- in the liner notes for her 2004 debut album, Free Yourself. This indicates both Barrino's relative naïveté and the nature of Free Yourself itself. Fantasia was the winner of the third American Idol competition in 2004, and while Clive Davis has shepherded all of the previous AmIdol winners and runner-ups, it's possible that Barrino had spent so little time in the music biz that she didn't grasp the depths of either Davis' legacy or his savvy, the latter of which was clearly on display on each AmIdol record. Under Davis' direction, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Ruben Studdard, and Clay Aiken all made records tailored for a specific audience, which is the reason they all had great success (well, with one notable exception), so it should come as no surprise that Davis has steered Barrino straight to the streets to make an album that thrives on urban R&B inflections and style. Free Yourself is looser and hipper than any previous AmIdol album. Gone is Matthew Wilder, who contributed to Kelly's debut; gone are Neil Sedaka and Aldo Nova, who featured heavily on Clay's album. In their place are Missy Elliott, Jermaine Dupri, and Rodney Jerkins, hip-hop hitmakers who give a good indication that this album is striving to seem fresh and hip, something that no other American Idol album has even attempted. Of course, the show-biz trappings haven't been completely abandoned -- Fantasia's showstopping rendition of Gershwin's "Summertime" has been revived, and it's been given an overwrought treatment that's slicker and more mannered than either of her performances of it on the show. And that reveals Fantasia's biggest weakness, which is part of the inherent flaw of American Idol: it rewards contestants who put on a show of being a great singer instead of actually being a great singer. Of all the third-season contestants, Barrino trumped all her competitors in terms of sheer dramatics and histrionics, and that made her more memorable than equally talented singers such as Latoya London. While Fantasia's Macy Gray-meets-Mary J. Blige-and-goes-Broadway voice may have made for great television, where it sounded unique when delivered in two-to-three-minute bursts, it grates over the course of a 13-track record. There's no doubt that she has chops, but the problem is her thin timbre, which is an acquired taste. To doubters, she seems to squawk her songs as much as sing them, but to her fans, it's all part of her idiosyncratic style. That argument was easier to accept when she was only on TV, but like all AmIdol winners, she is less impressive on record than she is on the show. Fantasia is a compelling presence on television, and she has more charisma on record than any of her peers, but without the visuals, her vocals seem mannered and overly histrionic, which may suit her diva-in-waiting persona but doesn't necessarily make her a diva. Unfortunately, Free Yourself decides to play up that diva fantasy, mythologizing her downtrodden beginnings and status as a "Baby Mama" and throwing in several tracks that swagger as if she were already a rival to Mariah. This gives the enterprise a slightly distasteful undercurrent, but the album is well crafted, rarely sounding like a rush job -- only the covers of "Summertime" and "You Were Always on My Mind" sound chintzy, and Fantasia never sounds winded the way Ruben did on his record (however, it is inexcusable that the songs don't match the printed track listing on the initial pressings) -- and it gets by on its sound and style, both from the producers and Fantasia herself. If it delivers no knockout punches, at least it maintains the mood and groove from beginning to end and is considerably more fashionable than anything American Idol has yet produced. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Soundtracks - Released August 11, 2010 | Almanac

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R&B - Released April 19, 2013 | RCA Records Label

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R&B - Released April 22, 2013 | RCA Records Label

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Seven of its 12 songs were co-written by Fantasia, so it's a little surprising that the fourth album from the American Idol winner doesn't bear a title like Here I Am or I, Fantasia. Nearly a decade removed from her nationally televised triumph, Fantasia's not only contributing significantly to the songwriting process, she continues to draw top-rank, well-matched collaborators such as songwriter and producer Harmony Samuels (Keyshia Cole's "Enough of No Love," Ariana Grande's "The Way"), who had a hand in each song. Since Fantasia and Harmony drive so much of the material, Side Effects of You is a more personal, more consistent set of songs than Free Yourself, Fantasia, and Back to Me. That's not to say there isn't a multitude of sounds within the several high points. They include "Lose to Win," which rather brilliantly samples and twists Commodores' mournful-yet-uplifting 1985 hit "Nightshift"; the dexterous, part-reggae "Ain't All Bad," and the perfectly poised and hard-hitting "End of Me." And then there's "Change Your Mind," which daringly incorporates Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (1990) and should not work yet does so in a convincing manner. Throughout, Fantasia's approach is as refined as ever. She rarely wails. A few songs come up short, such as the stodgy and frilly "If I Was a Bird," the merely passable title track (a theatrical ballad co-written by Emeli Sandé), and the peppy, drama-flicking "Lighthouse" (a better fit, cursing excepted, for Chrisette Michele), but they're not glaring. Seven or eight years after she was supposed to be an AI punch line in another line of work, Fantasia has released her finest album yet. ~ Andy Kellman
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Soul - Released August 23, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Soul - Released May 3, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Soul - Released September 20, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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R&B - Released May 27, 2016 | Rock Soul Records - 19 Recordings Limited - RCA Records

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R&B - Released April 12, 2005 | J Records

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Soundtracks - Released August 11, 2010 | Almanac

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Soundtracks - Released August 11, 2010 | Almanac

Pop - Released April 23, 2018 | Musicblast.id

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Pop - Released February 2, 2010 | J Records

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Rock - Released April 30, 2017 | St.Marcus Bluesband

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Pop - Released December 19, 2018 | Musicblast.id