I miss Aaliyah so much. Honestly, her sound was fresh and ahead of its time. I don’t think anyone has made that kind of impact on music since. I can’t remember the last time I heard an artist that made me think, “wow – I’ve never heard anything like this!” Her last album, Aaliyah, is one of my all time favorites.
She was often compared to Janet, my absolute favorite – but Aaliyah truly had her own sound. I think the comparisons came from their dancing/acting talents, as well as having a reputation of great kindness.
Artists like Brandy, Ciara and Michelle Williams all have the potential to be on Aaliyah’s level. Their sounds are strongly rooted in R&B, but have elements of pop and dance to them as well.
Brandy’s Afrodisiac, had that edge that separated her from the other pop/R&B acts out at the time. Apart from his work with Aaliyah, I think this was Timbaland’s best production. I hope they team up again in the future and experiment, rather than turn out cookie-cutter pop songs (my opinion of Timbaland’s more recent work)
Ciara has had her moments. I think The Evolution was one of her best albums. She experimented with different sounds and it paid off with some great tracks. I think now she’s struggling for mainstream success while trying to keep her original urban fans happy. I don’t think that’s possible – as evident by her fading career.
Michelle Williams may have the greatest potential to carve out a fresh sound in R&B/pop music. Her last album, Unexpected, was almost too far ahead of its time. A combination of an unfamiliar sound and poor management unfortunately may have kept the album from being a success. The sound she created in 2008… is what’s all over the radio today. One of the albums main producers, Rico Love, went on to produce smash hits for Beyonce and Usher. For whatever reason, the public didn’t respond to this sound in 08, but couldn’t get enough of it years later. I hope she continues to push the trend in pop music, but I want her to have commercial success with this next album.
Time will tell.