CD So Blu (CD 424668),
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1. Waste My Time - (featuring L.O.)
2. Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)
3. Till I'm Gone
4. U Must Be Crazy
5. One, The
6. I'll Find a Way
8. 10,000 Times
9. When I Needed You
10. All You Had to Say
11. I Can't Believe
12. So Blu
13. Blu Is a Mood
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 14703
Personnel includes: Blu Cantrell (vocals); L.O. (rap vocals); Derek Scott, Mike Scott (guitar); Dallas Austin (keyboards, bass, background vocals); Jason Rome, Don Vito (keyboards, programming); James "Big Jim" Wright (keyboards, background vocals); Orenthal Harper, Willie Briggs (keyboards); Aaron Clay (bass); Stokley (drums); Deshone Williams (percussion); Alex Richbourg (programming); Terry Lewis (background vocals).
Producers include: C. "Tricky" Stewart, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, Olliewood.
Engineers include: Malik Crawford, Brian "B. Luv" Thomas, Carlton Lynn.
Includes liner notes by David Nathan.
"Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and for Best R&B Song.
Personnel: Blu Cantrell (vocals, background vocals); Derek Scott (guitar); Don Vito, Jason Rome (keyboards, programming); Dallas Austin (keyboards, background vocals); William Henry Briggs, III (keyboards); Rick Sheppard (midi); Aaron Clay (bass guitar); Stokley (drums); Deshone Williams (percussion); Alexander Richbourg (drum programming); Terry Lewis (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Steve Hodge.
Recording information: Cyptron Studios, Miami, FL; Flyte Tyme studios, Edina, MN; Triangle Sound Studios, Atlanta, GA.
Photographer: Kwaku Alston.
Arrangers: Jimmy Jam; Terry Lewis.
Blu Cantrell's debut album is disarming in its defiance of expectations--there are no diva-driven, melismatic vocals, the ballads are for the most part stripped-down and spare, and the uptempo numbers are driving and to the point without indulging in street braggadocio. On the evidence of "I'll Find a Way," a contemporary gospel-inflected love song in the same way that Aretha Franklin's best cuts were infused with gospel, Cantrell has a long and distinguished line of influences on which to draw. She also tears through "Swingin'," a faked-up slice of '30s pastiche, with panache to spare.
She's more Lena Horne than Mariah Carey, and songs like "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" show an ease with earthy situations that Ma Rainey would have found familiar. Production values are stock turn-of-the-century urban R&B, but on this showing Cantrell sounds like she'd be equally at home with a big band or a small jazz combo--SO BLU may well be merely a prelude to a long and successful career.
Rolling Stone (9/27/01, p.70) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...What sets Blu apart is a startling hurt that tears at the notes and lets them cry..."
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