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Few would accuse Fantasia of a reluctance to abide by the wisdom that what you've got, you should flaunt, and the vocal gusto she slathers over her full-length debut gets partial credit for earning--and keeping--your attention. To a greater extent, though, the high-wattage help heaped over the Idol 3 champ and Patti LaBelle-sound-alike makes the disc dazzle. In addition to pitch-ins from Missy Elliott, who produced and co-wrote three tracks and busts out a two-snaps-up rhyme on "Selfish (I Want U 2 Myself)," Jazze Pha duets on the ultra-mod "Don't Act Right" and Jermaine Dupri wrote and produced the smolderer "Got Me Waiting." Surprisingly, though, it's not those tracks or even the Idol-propelled cover of the Gershwins' "Summertime" that will stick with listeners most. Instead, first single "Truth Is," a sweet, old-school R&B lament directed toward a lost love, and "Baby Mama," a spirited shout-out to hard-working single mothers, snare standout status with their from-the-gut authenticity. Keeping it real is what won Fantasia the hearts of millions on TV, and despite Free Yourself's likable slickness, it convinces that--hot commodity or no--she's not about to forget it. -Tammy La Gorce
- It Is Definetly All Good
Fantasia was one of my favorite contestants on AI3. For one she was real and secondly she could throw it down. I'll admit she can get out of hand with the screetchin', but that can be worked on. "Free Yourself" has to be one of the best CDs I've bought all year and I listen to it frequently. I understand the gist of "Baby Mama," but I find the term "baby mama" disrespectful and dehumanizing. Other than that, Fantasias has a lot of potential and this CD is good stuff....more info
- She Suck
actually i'm thinknig of giving her one star..but her uniqueness give herself a star. her voice is unique..but tt's not what attract fans! you gotta have something ppl will like..appeal to at least one kidn of ppl..but ur songs are all so..i got nothing to say..i don't think she need any composer..just 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' throughout will do...she edited the original lyrics like hell..and added 'Yeah, yeah,yeah'. this kind of ppl will be caught lipsyncing very easily..as long as she 'Yeah, yeah' at the wrong position or speed ppl will know..
Why i dun like her
-->she 'Yeah' too much..gets annoying
-->Voice too high pitch..most of the time she's shouting
-->too unique..people who loves orange can't find apple same as orange..coz though the apple is something different..tt doesn't mean they have to like it......more info
- Total Garbage
This album and this artist should never be heard. There were sooo many more talented people on American Idol when she won. This album is a perfect example of that. All the studio effects in the world can't help this over-rated, so-called singer. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s$%^....more info
- Powerful voice
What a talent Fantasia is. I got this album back in March and listen to it still, almost every week without geting bored. She has an amazingly powerful voice and the music is great. I especially love Truth Is, but all the songs are good. Don't be skeptical just because she won American Idol. She obviously won for a reason and with this kind of voice, she'll go far. She is a true talent....more info
- Great! Great! Great!
I believe that Tasia's CD is the Greatest. Why are the reviewers so harsh. Tasia is the greatest to come along from AI. Her sound is soulful and it is very heart touching. Her performance on AI was stunning. Her whole entire CD is great to me. I've listened and listened to this CD. I know the words backwards from every song. She got what she deserve as far as winning the AI competition. Who are we to judge what GOD has meant for a person. Maybe it wasn't meant for Diana, or LaToya, by the way who I think are really great singers, to win. It wasn't thier season. God knew that FANTASIA BARRINO wanted it more and she deserved to come out on top. He knew she was tired of struggling so he gave her a chance to let the talent he gave her shine. So to all of the reviewers who are coming down on any artist in a negative way, lets see you do something productive besides down grade those who've made it for whatever reason. My household alone voted for Tasia 200 times that night and the night they announced her name as the winner I CRIED. Why, because she deserved it. So don't hate, appreciate the beauty and essence of Gods Grace. So what if her voice is raspy, it's unique and she knows how to use it. She was not off key on her album, some of you all just can't hear. Keep on singing Tasia, whatever you put out I'll buy it. God will keep you strong just keep your mind stayed on him. ...more info
this is a great cd, i never watch the tv show so when i saw her in concert with Kanye West i was completely suprised and ran out and brought her cd...what a great job she did and her VOCALS are on point, please people don't sleep on this girl, she is the real deal and a legend in the making..
I LOVE THIS CD!!!!!!!!...more info
- Fantasia wins with this one!
Great R & B album! Missy Elliot has her hand all in this album. Nice flow from one song to another. Probably her best work. Peace...more info
- Best American idol winner
Im 16 not under 13. Fantasia is amazing. Better than carrie underwood and kelly and ruben. Thats my opion. Her unique style blows every other idol away . she has that soul that Know one else has. She can do hip hop , R& b , Jazz , She has it all.
I love you fantasia...more info
- Better then I expected!
I was not, by any means, a Fantasia fan- I could NOT stand her on "American Idol 3". I listened to this CD at a friends house and I said "Wow this is good. Who is this?" and she said "Fantasia Barrino" and I said..."WHAT?!?!" It did not sound like her at all, but I loved it, bought and I am now a Fantasia found. Some tracks are lackluster (such as Truth Is and Selfish...why was Truth Is a single?!?!!?) but others are splendid (such as Free Yourself and Aint Gon Beg You). ...more info
- 2-1/2 stars -- "Patti LaBelle-sound-alike"???
Sorry, but I just can't see where reviewers are coming from with inferences like that. And I also don't see why there is so much praise for Fantasia Barrino's album Free Yourself. Now, I've listened to a lot of Idol albums without really being impressed by most of them because usually the artist doesn't sing very well on the album. But here it got to the point that I had to ask, "She COULD sing on the show, right?"
One reviewer said that Fantasia isn't trying hard enough to use her vocals on here. I disagree; I think she's trying TOO hard. She's off-key on much of the album, but it especially shows on tracks like "Truth Is" and the title track. And "Good Lovin'" is pretty good until she does that horrible adlibbing at the end.
When you focus on the lyrics, things aren't very impressive either, like on the ridiculous anthem "Baby Mama". Party joints are also skippable, like the contradictorily titled "It's All Good" and the obligatory Jazze Phizzle productizzle "Don't Act Right". That song also brings me to the idea of using played-out concepts: songs called "Selfish" are getting kind of stale because they're usually about the same subject (see also *NSYNC and Toni Braxton).
The last two tracks ("This Is Me" and "I Believe") are decent, but they're definitely not enough to save the album. If you truly have an ear for good music, I think that after listening to Fantasia's album, you'll want to free yourself from it.
Anthony Rupert...more info
- Fantastic Fantasia
A brilliant album by this young singer. She has such an unique voice and her songs are soulful and great to listen/dance to.
Can't wait for her to bring out more music. I followed her on American Idol and was over the moon that she won, it was well deserved, she outsang the rest by miles....more info
- Fantasia- Fantastic!
Being that I am not that a big a fan of American Idol (I really only watch for when the three judges Simon, Randy, and Paula bicker and when they cut, sometimes unfortunately, on someone and their dream of making it big), I was kind of skeptical of Fantasia and her putting out an album. I saw her sing on their a couple of times and she does have an amazing voice. Hers and Keyshia Cole's have the most powerful voices I have heard come out in quite sometime. But still I kind of felt like she would be a manufactured artist coming from a television show, sort of watered-down. So it took me sometime to catch on to her and end up copping her CD. Overall time, six months just about. Just bought it the other day and I am thrilled to say that she proved me wrong. Her album is a hell of a debut! It's got that kind of throwback type feel to it. She might born of this generation but what she has been through (knowing her story a little) gives her an old soul/spirit so to speak and it correlates/connects to how the album comes out. Kind of a mix between jazz and blues with a couple of uptempo grooves thrown in. The first two singles were very nice with Truth Is, the mid-beat track that speaks on a love she might have lost that she sings very well on (although I fought it a little in the beginning cause of the deepness and emotion within the song), and Free Yourself which was a bit of an opposite of the first single being a slower song but it showed the powerfulness of her voice just the same if not more and spoke on breaking off miserable relationships if both people are unhappy. A couple of other tracks that I really liked were Selfish with Missy on the cut, Summertime was a nice track, It's All Good was the one uptempo song I did like off there which showed she could take it to the side or level if she wanted, and You Were Always On My Mind which kind of connects with Truth Is being in that love lost category. I read a review from someone on here that I have to agree with and it's that the song she did with Jazze Pha- Don't Act Right (even though it's an alright song), doesn't really fit well with the CD. Despite that little trip-up I have to say that this is a standout CD for this year. She may well be nominated for a Grammy in the female R&B dept. w/ Mariah, Faith, and Keyshia Cole. Very nicely done, Ms. Fantasia! Hope to hear more from you in the future....more info
- good condition
the cd was in great condition. and the case looked brand new. very nice....more info
- NO SINGING ABILITY AT ALL !!!
FORGET THE WHOLE SOBBY STORY THAT SHE IS A SINGLE HIGH SCHOOL DROP OUT MOTHER...NOONE IS TO BLAME BUT HER...SHE WASN'T A CHILD WHEN IT HAPPENED SO DEAL WITH IT...THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME FEEL SORRY FOR HER AND TRY TO LIKE HER VOICE...IT IS A TERRIBLE SCREAMING SOUND...THE CD IS A RIP OFF OF A CLEANER VERSION OF MISSY ELLIOT...MISSY ELLIOT IS ALWAYS IN THE BACKGROUND VOCALS...SHE SINGS BETTER THAN FANTASIA!!!SHE IS NO AMERICAN IDOL...THE SONGS ARE TERRIBLE...JUST PLAIN BORING...SHE IS NOT THE NEXT MARIAH IN SINGING...AND NOT THE NEXT CIARA IN HIP HOP!!!...more info
The song, " Free yourself", By our much adored American Idol winner, Fantasia, is an appalling song. Fantasia is well-known for her achievements, like winning the American Idol contest. She is also, even more well-known for having a very high-pitched. Some people call it high-pitched, while others call it a loud screeching sound. Like the sound of nine-inch nails scratching on a blackboard. The song, " Free Youself," features Fantasia's not fantastic vocals screaming the words, " If you don't want me then don't talk to me." The song showcases nothing that makes Fantasia an irresistible performer with star power. Filled with banal and trite mainstream R&B anthems with riffs and hooks blatantly lifted from more accomplished names, like Usher. There is nothing here to persuade a casual listener to take the CD home. At best, the song is mildly catchy. It is another one of those sorry love songs that talk about how the guy abandons the lady and the lady is sitting at home crying and complaining at the guy to just leave her alone because she is tired of him cheating on her over and over again. If she decides to sing a song like this make sure that her and the beat sounds good. Speaking about the beat, that is the only reason why this song deserves any points at all. The beat features a piano, some drums, and some symbols. The good thing about how the beat and Fantasia's voice connects in this song, is by how the beat intensifies as her voice gets higher and higher (than what it's supposed to be). Overall, the song is pretty bad. She should have stopped with the single " Truth Is".
- Had To Review It A Second Time!
Well, this is the 2nd time I've reviewed this CD. I got it as a Christmas present in December 2004, and only listened to about two songs.
Now after close to an entire year, I love this CD more than ever! Fantasia's voice is terrific, and it is really needed in the R&B world today. My favorite song on the entire CD is "Ain't Gon' Beg You." Other fantastic tracks here are "Free Yourself", "Truth Is", "Selfish", "Don't Act Right", and "I Believe." This album proves that Fantasia will go a long way from American Idol. She's actually the best of all the Idol winners, but I won't go on any further about that.
If you're a fan [like I am] of some of today's youngest & hottest R&B vocalists like Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Keyshia Cole, & Joss Stone, then you'll love Fantasia!...more info
- GOTTA LOVE HER!
Fantasia is so fab! Her voice reminds me of a young Patti LaBelle. I see nothing but stars in Fantasia's future. I loved tracks like "Free Yourself", "Ain't Gon' Beg You", "Got Me Waiting", and "Baby Mama". She has just a wonderful voice with so much grace. So if you haven't, get this album, it's worth every penny....more info
- FANTASIA'S FREE YOURSELF
I'm not crazy about this debut CD. BUT I AM CRAZY ABOUT FANTASIA. She is so exciting. She is a star performer. If I could get a front row seat, I would go to every live performance. The American Idol live performance of "Summertime" was the better version. That ought to be the one on this CD. It seems that it is different from the original performance.
I hope FANTASIA does more "classics" and some new and original "soulfoul" music. Stay away from rap. She's an original. Keep it FANTASIA ONLY!...more info
I bought this cd the day it came out because I was a huge Fantasia fan on AI. I gave it away the day after I heard it. The cd didn't come close to her performance on Idol. That Baby Mama song was dreadful. That whole pop/Beyonce-wannabe lyrics just didn't fit her voice or her style. She honestly should have stuck closer to the jass/blues genre. I wish her luck with her Broadway show and subsequent albums and performances, but honestly if this is an indicator than she's definitely off my playlist. I was highly disappointed with this dreadful cd. ...more info
- A Unique Image, A Unique Voice
American Idol has dispensed a surprising share of talent each time it has crowned a winner. From soulful/pop-turned rock power belter Kelly Clarkson to the soulful teddy bear of Ruben Studdard to even second season runner-up power vocalist, Clay Aiken, American Idol has truly seen some great talent. This only continues with the release of the winner of the third season of American Idol, Fantasia Barrino or Fantasia.
AIN'T GON' BEG You- Produced by the Underdogs, this slow R&B jam is a nice introduction to the CD as it prepares the listener for the vocalist that is Fantasia. As the song talks about not begging someone for their love, the production of the song matched with Fantasia's vocals builds the song up to a pleasing climax towards the end. The background vocals are arranged nicely. This is Fantasia's fourth single off the CD, and it is sure to blow up on Urban and Urban AC stations. A
FREE yOURSELF-Produced by Missy Elliott herself and Craig X. Brockman, this percolating slow jam is a mini-masterpiece. When I first heard the song, I was drawn to it not only because it is relatively original in this current landscape of R&B where the majority of the music is homogenized. The background vocals are on-point. Fantasia takes the song to new heights with her voice; although, I must admit that towards the end she lets loose a little too much where the power of the song is somewhat lost because of the screaming. Her scatting before the second verse is tight though. This was the third, official single off the CD, and it did well on Urban/Urban AC radio outlets. A
TRUTH IS-Produced by Soulshock and Karlin, the second, official off the CD. See, this is basically a regular R&B cut-the obligatory R&B song that almost any singer can handle. However, this is where Fantasia's talents come through. With her interpretive skills and her unique voice and even her phrasing, she turns this song into a mini-masterpeice. See, one has to understand music and appreciate music on a deeper level to witness the magic that is inherent in this song. Fantasia sounds "real"/authentic as she tells her ex-lover that the "truth is" that she wants him back and misses him even as he has moved on. Her adlibs are crazy...the song is tight. A+
SELFISH-Produced by Missy Elliott and Lamb, this uptempo has a lot of energy and sounds like a club banger, one of those songs to be played at a party. This kind of song is relatively rare on this CD which is comprised of slower jams. The title speaks for itself as Fantasia is saying that she wants him all to herself and does not want to share him with anyone else. Missy also raps towards the end of the song. A
SUMMERTIME-Produced by Nigel Wright, Summertime is the song that made Fantasia stand out during American Idol as she gave a very impassioned performance. That stellar performance does not translate as well into this very polished studio performance. However, her artistry is still evidenced as few, young singers could effectively pull this old showtune off so effortlessly. She sounds comfortable singing this song and she makes the song sound like something "really" from that time. A
BABY MAMA-Produced by Harold Lilly and the Co-Stars, this song got a lot of heat because some people criticized Fantasia for promoting single motherhood. Whatever one's opinion is, the basic message of the song is to give courage and acknowledgment to all the "baby mamas" everywhere. It is just a simple song of appreciation and empowerment for single mothers. Take it like you want to, but the song is rather unique and a breath of fresh air coming from a "baby mama" herself. A
GOT ME WAITING-Produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox, because of the two aforementioned producers, this cut sounds like Usher's BURN, Destiny's Child's BAD HABIT, Frankie J's HOW to DEAL and Faith Evans' TRU LOVE. I really do enjoy the trademark sound of these songs because it is very atmospheric and fits the words conveyed. Fantasia gives a very understated, quiet but mournful vocal as she adequately exemplifies the fact that her lover has her waiting for his complete devotion and respect. She is informing him that she won't keep waiting. This is probably my favorite song on the CD because Fantasia reads it well. She does not oversing and lets the all the parts work together cohesively. A+
IT'S ALL GOOD-Produced by Rodney Jerkins and Sean Garrett, this cut sounds similar to Destiny's Child's Lose My Breath, mainly because it is produced by the same producer, Rodney Jerkins. The drum beats and the haunting background vocalists lend this song a certain energy that is just crazy. Fantasia sings better on slower tunes, but she also knows how to handle the uptempos pretty well. The song was a potential single release, but for some reason, it has not been released. A+
You WERE ALWAYS ON MY MIND-Produced by the Underdogs, this Willie Nelson cover is the best version I have heard besides the original. Fantasia turns this into a soulful song that is not overdramatic or oversung about the true meaning of her lover. She aced the performance and does even better live. A+
GOOD LOVIN' Produced by Missy Elliott and Craig X. Brockman, this sounds like one of those old-school, 1970s R&B cuts and it works. The production on this slow mid-tempo is tight. Missy's background vocals are on-point as well. Fantasia sounds in her element as well here. A
DON'T ACT RIGHT-Produced by Jazze Pha, this is probably the worst song on the CD for me because it does not go anywhere. It is the typical Jazze Pha production, and it does not seem to really fit Fantasia's vocals as much. It has a boring and tired production to it and the incessant repetition of "don't act right" during the chorus is annoying. It is not a bad song, but compared to its predecessors, it does not work as well. Fantasia sings well on it though. B-
THIS IS ME-Produced by the Underdogs and Antonio Dixon, this is Fantasia's autobiographical song where she tells who she is. Surprisingly, she did not even write a word on the song, but it does fit her. The production on this mid-tempo are on-point. The vocals are good and not overblown. She sounds like Brandy at certain points on the song that it is scary. A
I BELIEVE-Produced by Louis Biancaniello and Sam Watters who produced Jessica Simpson's 1999 smash, I WANNA LOVE You FOREVER, this is the inspirational tune she sang upon being crowned Season 3's American Idol. This track is very inspirational and uplifting for anyone. It is almost too overblown but with Fantasia not singing the song in the same manner that many of the Whiteny Houston and Mariah Carey copycats would, the song works because she gives it a soulful and Gospelized read instead of the operatic way with the expected riffs and runs and bended notes. A+
Overall, the CD works because of Fantasia's unique vocals. Hearing the CD, it does not sound like it could be her debut because she sounds like she has been releasing CDs for years. Most of these songs are basic R&B cuts, but with Fantaisa's Gospel-training, heartfelt vocals, unique and mature intepretation and phrasing along with a needed restraint she turns these songs into mini-episodes where she makes you feel the words of the song instead of the notes and runs and high notes. Some people deem Fantasia as the next Patti LaBelle. While her on-stage energy does exemplify Patti LaBelle's as well as the tone of her vocals being similar to Patti's, Fantasia reminds of the old-school, soul divas like Patti, Gladys and Aretha who knew how to sing both on-stage and in the studio and who could give original readings of a song. Fantasia will definitely be around for a long time. The fact that her CD has sold over 1.5 million copies less than a year later when many people did not expect it to even go Gold is a testament to her talent and the support she has in the Urban communities. Here is to looking forward to her sophomre release....more info