Great thread. As I’ve said in other threads, I’m in my mid-twenties and grew up on contemporary R&B and neo soul. So from the moment Tasia hit the idol stage, I’ve been imagining what her album would sound like. I do think a delicate balance of what pop/AI listeners, neo soul/hip-hop listeners, and Clive/marketing-minded A&R execs want can be found. My wishlist:
1. Fantasia is not a throwback to the past. She’s the one singer on this show that is not trying to emulate singers of the past. If Simon wasn’t under the delusion that music died after the disco era, maybe he would’ve noticed this. They should throw one or two cover songs on there for familiarity’s sake and to appeal to the AI crowd, but limit it to two at most.
2. No more reaching rainbows ends, finding pots of gold. The lyrics to I Believe couldn’t possibly be more inane, cliched. The melody too. This is Fantasia, not frickin Whitney Houston. Quit watering down Tasia with power ballads, Clive.
3. Cut out the “yeahyeahs”. I understand this stems from her gospel roots, but it just irritates too many listeners and would sound terrible on CD. Probably the first thing an accomplished producer would ask of her.
4. Stay eccentric. Al Green, Prince, Erykah Badu, Outkast all found commercial success by being eccentric. So I say keep bobo-in, grubbin on chitlins, walking barefoot….just be Tasia!
5. Keep it natural. Tasia has such an earthy, spiritual tone that would lose its quality if overproduced. Keep it organic as opposed to the synthesized or booming beats that are in vogue. Alicia, Angie, India, Erykah have scored with this type of sound of late.
6. Be selective, but open to guest appearances. Only artists that compliment Tasia and inspire her to make better music. Lenny Kravitz, Bilal, Me’Shell Ndegeocello, and Outkast would be on my short list.
7. Hip-hop the bobo. A hip-hop track is essential for crossover appeal on hip-hop radio and in the clubs. And this girl already has a trademark dance step to boot! AI fans might not like it, but that’s what the skip button on your CD player is for . North Carolina’s Petey Pablo can drop a verse on Fantasia’s hip-hop anthem “Do The Bobo”. The hook is a natural: “North Curl-inah come on and raise up, do the bobo, twist around your hips like a helicopter”
8. Fantasia re-invents the remix. “I Believe” and “Dreams” were truly hideous. They will sell a ton of copies to AI fans, but radio will not accept these songs with their current arrangements. Remix these songs and make them sound less like a dramatic movie score, please.
Good luck Tasia. Make us proud!