Aaliyah began spawning myths even before her death last year; this slick collection of old hits and previously unreleased songs helps clear them up. First, she wasn't R. Kelly's creation, although he discovered her -- she was Timbaland's. What other singer has matched Timbaland's tricky time shifts with such jazzish fluidity or spread out so luxuriantly between his stalking beats? Second, her dreaminess wasn't angelic, it was the languor of a courtesan. Her sweet, strong voice whips around the ambivalence in "Don't Know What to Tell Ya" and melts the ends off the lines in the title song. The first half of I Care 4 U is Timbaland's show (plus the standard-setting R. Kelly track "Back and Forth"); the second features a small drop in quality with new tracks such as the unironic novelty "Erica Kane" and a remix of her detached cover of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up."
(RS 914 – January 3, 2003)
(Posted: Dec 30, 2002)