So I’m spring cleaning in prep for graduation/22nd bday weekend, and iTunes/iPod compiled quite a brilliant playlist I must say – although it’s not too tough a task with my exceptionally brilliant library, but that’s neither here nor there.
Point is: in the midst of the final days of my undergrad career, I’m throwing back to my music mode from the first days of my high school career.
Hands down the soundtrack of my Summer/Fall 2001 was Aaliyah’s Aaliyah. Timbaland and Static integrated electronic, r&b, industrial, jazz, pop, latin, and hip-hop to produce a futuristic urban pop album – easily one of the best of the era.
It was apparent from the jump, “We Need a Resolution,” that Timbaland went hard for his muse as always…
Classic Timbaland (before he was “Timbaland”) — the human drum machine: deep heartbeat-like kick drum, intermitten claps playing off the snare, inhale/exhale undertone like a hi-hat ; distorted solo string set underscoring the vocals; low-riding piano clips … all in a in a constant multilayered stacatto sonicscape — like a running set of mini-chord progressions, with a smattering of Pharrell-esque Moet chimes to boot.
Good times. Bittersweet nostalgia.
Aaliyah propelled Aaliyah to the forefront of young hot hip-hop, and for good reason, it was stunningly solid – and it didn’t hurt to have Dame Dash in the pocket either (side thought: if Aaliyah and Dame panned out, how crazy could the Roc la Familia Dynasty have been with them and Jayonce?)
A bittersweet opus, the premature denouement, cemented Aaliyah’s potential – what she could have been – as the album was her last.
Long story short: the album was as fresh as I was in ninth grade, and the sound is relevant now — I’m sure there’s a parallel to my equal abstract relevance somewhere in there…
If you don’t have it, get it … if only for good Spring cleaning music. It is also eerily perma-contemporary.