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Aaliyah - I Care 4 U Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 December 2002

I Care 4 U
format: CD /DVD
label: Universal / Blackground Records
release year: 2002
performance: 8
sound 8
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageAaliyah’s I Care 4 U is a posthumous collection of the late singer’s 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, which found her to be more deeply soulful than the lightweight Janet Jackson yet not quite as diva-ready as a Macy Gray.

The hipper-than-hip Timbaland produced many of this album’s 15 tracks, and some of these cuts also feature Missy Misdemeanor Elliott’s street-smart lyrics. In covering Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” and the Isley Brothers’ ballad, “At Your Best,” Aaliyah also exhibits a deep appreciation for classic soul music.

Half of this release is comprised of Aaliyah hit songs. These range from “Back And Forth,” which is from her R. Kelly-produced and ironically named Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number debut, to tracks from the artist’s last full studio release, which was simply titled Aaliyah. Cuts from this final release include “I Care For You,” and “More Than A Woman.” The latter stands out for its delightfully bottom-heavy synth part.

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 combing Aaliyah’s three solo album releases for worthy tracks, her singles “Try Again” from the “Romeo Must Die” soundtrack and “Are You That Somebody,” which comes from the film “Dr. Dolittle,” are also found here. By the way, you just gotta love how the
“Dolittle” single samples a baby crying. It’s a further reminder of just why Timbaland’s name is almost omnipresent in today’s 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”? It’s hard to say. Another new one is called “Come Over,” and features Tank, even though it’s sometimes hard to tell where Aaliyah’s female voice ends, and Tanks’ 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. But this release contains plenty of reasons to believe she was more than likely destined for long-lasting greatness.

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