If It's Me Again had a couple more up-tempo tracks and fewer scene jackings from Missy Elliott, it would have no trouble matching the greatness of 2002's Southern Hummingbird. Elliott's berserk (not Bazerk) squawks vandalize return single "Turn da Lights Off," a Kwamé co-production touched by old-school elegance and vinyl crackle à la Monica's "So Gone" -- another moment when Elliott should've been blocked from the vocal booth. (Get on the bus, indeed; where are Road to Stardom judges Teena Marie and Dallas Austin when you need them?) Like on Southern Hummingbird, slow tempos and spare arrangements dominate, but restlessness is bound to set in during the latter half. Though few songs are second-rate, their similarities make them bleed into each other too much. Additionally, nothing on the album is as magnetic or odd as "Oops (Oh My)," which -- to be fair -- had to be expected. Several inspired songs do make It's Me Again desirable, so there's really no reason why anyone should think of Tweet as a one-hit wonder. Besides, she's far too charming and bewitching, serving heavy dosages of wisdom and sweetness. "Iceberg"'s off-kilter combination of pricklish acoustic guitar and widely spaced beats make you feel like you're getting a toe tickling and a deep tissue massage simultaneously; "Things I Don't Mean," a laid-back disco-funk jam, is unique in its form of regret ("I didn't mean the lie when I said to you, 'You make me sick, you can pack your sh*t, I'ma be alright with or without you'"); "Two of Us," shared with daughter Tashawna, will be thought of as sweet by any parent and corny by just about anyone else. While this follow-up doesn't make any improvements on the debut, it'll please fans. That said, if Tweet doesn't shake things up a little and takes another three years to make her third album, she shouldn't be surprised if she loses a good chunk of her audience.
It's Me Again Review
by Andy Kellman
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