Aaliyah – Aaliyah (2001)

Looking back on the tragic R&B singer’s final album, it’s impossible not to wonder where her career would be had she not perished in a plane crash not too long following this album’s release. The specter of her death haunts the entire album as they’re both inextricable from each other now, with tracks like “We Need a Resolution” and “I Care 4 U” that highlight the inherent sadness and softness at the core of the shiny, glittering R&B sound that brands the entire album from the first few notes. With other, strong tracks like “I Refuse” and “More Than a Woman,” this is a modern classic sure to be remembered for many more generations, while its legacy will continue to influence other artists, like Brandy and SZA.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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