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Review: Tweet, Southern Hummingbird

4

Tweet, Southern Hummingbird

Tweet’s debut, the aptly-titled Southern Hummingbird, bears the unmistakable stamp of Timbaland’s futuristic production and Missy Elliott’s sultry R&B grammar. Yet Tweet brings to the album her candid, super-personal experience; the sweltering “Smoking Cigarettes” examines the symbiosis of destructive relationships and cancerous behavior (“You’re the one to help me quit/And I know it ain’t healthy”) while “Drunk” tells the tale of gin-soaked despondency replete with languid beats and dirgy synth chords. After a slow-burning start, the album finds its rhythm with the chunky beats of “Boogie 2Nite” and “Make Ur Move,” two retro, synth-laden club tracks a la Elliott’s So Addictive, and lead single “Oops (Oh My),” the hottest masturbation song since “She Bop.” Tweet celebrates her post-club auto-pleasure with the unlikeliest of pop hooks (“Oops, there goes my shirt up over my head, oh my!”) while Elliott continues her ascent to sex symbol status (“Mmm, I was eyeing my thighs, butter pecan brown”). Comparisons to Aaliyah are inevitable; Tweet’s warm, featherweight delivery on the jazzy “Beautiful” remarkably brings to mind the late singer’s signature vocal style. But Tweet holds her own throughout Hummingbird and, unlike many of her contemporaries, she is a musician and songwriter as well as a vocalist. Several tracks are acoustic guitar-driven, including the brazen “Motel” and “Complain,” a twangy urban-folk/gospel tune that truly earns the album its title. It’s a personal and accomplished debut that virtually guarantees she’ll make more than a chirp on the R&B radar.

Label: Elektra Release Date: March 20, 2002 Buy: Amazon

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