42. "i'm ambivalent to this whole line of reasoning, honestly" In response to In response to 0
it's unfair to speculate on how much better she could've gotten in future, but essentially saying her music didn't mean shit to ppl BEFORE she became the go-to posthumous r&b goddess ain't fair either (or that we're past the 'Aaliyah is the greatest' worship and can finally see her discog as the average affair that it is...not so). and in reference to her music holding up, that entire argument is subjective in relation to the person's own experience. for instance, u can't discount my love for her music just becos i grew up on her first two albums and associate em with my burgeoning feelings of love, and falling in love for the first time. those are my connections to her music from adolescence into my teens. to ME, her first two albums hold up REAL well. i can acknowledge there was and will be better singers than her that make better music. but at the same time i can pop on either album and listen to em all the way through. even "OIAM" which might sound scattered due to the splitting of the production duties, the Timbo tracks hold up supremely well (as do all of Tim's first-run work with G & Missy n Aaliyah). but "Choosey Lover"? y'all didn't like it? "Got To Give It Up" will still get a party jumpin today. the title track, whether u wanna admit it or not, is also still a big kick in the ass and considered an r&b CLASSIC. she wasn't even 18 at the time. man, the potential she had will always outweigh the scant few albums she managed to release before the plane crash, but i can't clap to denigrating her discog becos of it. her music and my para-social r/ship with her persona say otherwise. if u add the remixes and other assorted Tim-related work she's been involved with, u could compile a great Best Of (and Best Ofs in general are barometers for an artist's greatness now? she got better cuts than those that appeared on "IC4U").
in terms of the kind of sound she was starting to lean toward as she got older with her music, it was slightly darker, add to that the fact she had discovered Lewis Taylor only a year or so before her death, so who knows how that could've influenced her future work.
i think time & place plays a huge part too. ask my anyone my age now (26 and above) in Australia who grew up on the early 90s r&b stalwarts (Kells, Jodeci, Aaliyah, Guy) and they could give a fuck about Keyshia Cole. i dont think ive ever heard a Keyshia song let alone an album. she just never factored into the scene here. Aaliyah was quite prevalent tho, and is still largely appreciated by all the same ppl in my vicinity who i grew up with. i dont know anyone who i associate with from my immediate area (that is, the entire state of Victoria/city of Melbourne) that even knows of or listens to or RATES Keyshia Cole.
lastly, Aaliyah had that extra somethin. i know it's often brought up to justify the worship, but whether it was choosing to roll with Timbo before he was seriously a force to be reckoned with, or the (seemingly maligned) "mystique" factor (the hair over the one eye thing, her general laid back, reserved but fly girl u could kick it with persona), i know *i* loved her as much back then as i did after her passing. i'm not making any of this up to dissuade this largely unnecessary post criticising a dead girl's music who never lived past 22, simply saying whatever made her so loved existed while she was still on this Earth.
but i forget that OKP doesn't like to include personal connections when judging an artist's output or that artist as a whole :/ clearly her music meant and continues to mean something and holds up and all that good stuff that makes her worthy of mass praise. for u it's like peering from the outside in, for a lifelong Aaliyah fan it's like u were there from the beginning and were part of the ride so our POV on EVERYTHING is gonna be counter to ur experience. and of course there's all the distortions that come with an artist's untimely demise and all the complicated emotions that arise as a result (wat SoWhat refers to as the "cult" part of the worship). ain't that standard behaviour tho?