Lumidee

Unexpected

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The take-off success of "Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)" made Lumidee an overnight pop star, yet it placed her at a disadvantage. She had to rush Almost Famous, a set of glorified demos and one hot song, and she seemed to disappear after her follow-up single flopped. Even those who bought the album were likely to think it would be the last they'd hear from Lumidee. However, she stuck around, at least outside the States, through a reggaeton hit with Speedy ("Sientelo") and a track on the FIFA World Cup 2006 compilation. In the States, then, Unexpected is somewhat unexpected. Now on TVT instead of Universal, she and her crew of producers -- principally J Marty, while Lenky, Scott Storch, Red Spyda, Wyclef Jean, and a couple others contribute one or two tracks -- whip up a set that is spit-shined and buffed compared to Almost Famous. It has been nearly four years since she first hit, so she has had plenty of time to regroup. There's much more nuance to her voice, whether she's singing or rapping. She's tougher, more womanly. Though these qualities make Unexpected a much better album than Almost Famous, it is not without its awkward moves, like back-to-back loose interpretations of Patrick Swayze's "She's Like the Wind" and Eugene McDaniels' "Feel Like Makin Love" (popularized by Roberta Flack). Though the former re-introduced her to the pop charts, both fall flat. The most effective tracks, like "You Got Me" (featuring N.O.R.E.) and "I'm Up" (featuring Jim Jones), tend to balance left-of-center keyboard vamps with hard-to-resist vocal hooks. Most peculiar is "In It for the Money," where she (with an assist from Snoop Dogg) expresses distaste for the music industry ("They got me turnin' off the radio/Don't watch no videos/I can't get with it, no") and shamelessly claims that money is her only motivator. As uneven and occasionally puzzling as a 17-track pop album gets, this is nonetheless a marked improvement over the debut.

blue highlight denotes track pick