Home Read Classic Album Review: Aaliyah | Aaliyah

Classic Album Review: Aaliyah | Aaliyah

R. Kelly's former child bride comes into her own on her self-titled third album.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


This self-titled disc is actually R&B seductress Aaliyah’s third album. But the title still tracks since this is not only her first album as an adult, but also the first time Aaliyah seems to be calling her own shots.

Once the protégé (and child bride) of soul-man horndog R. Kelly, Aaliyah comes into her own on these 15 immaculately produced cuts, silkily proclaiming her independence over superstar knob-twiddler Timbaland’s kinetic, high-tech slap ’n’ bump soul-hop grooves. But even independent women can still use a good man, as the boudoir come-on Rock the Boat — withi its purred moans of “work it in and work the middle, change positions, now stroke it for me, baby” — make blatantly clear. If she were a couple of years younger, this could qualify as child pornography. Instead, it’s a disc made for dancing between the sheets.