• Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Jul 17, 2001
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. An album of dull, vocal virtuoso ballads.
  2. What's most pronounced is the subtlety of it all, the tastefulness, the lack of bombast and histrionics.
  3. When it clicks, "Aaliyah" transforms the confusion of young adulthood into exhilarating freedom
  4. Aaliyah isn't just a statement of maturity and a stunning artistic leap forward, it is one of the strongest urban soul records of its time.
  5. Take away the album's lone misfire -- the cliché-filled "Rock the Boat," produced by Rapture and E. Seats -- and this work is nearly perfect.
  6. Aaliyah is Control, Velvet Rope and Jagged Little Pill all rolled into one. It's the album Janet should have made with All for You, the manifesto that Beyonce thought she was penning with Survivor.
  7. Overall, aside from the crummy rock-out of 'What If', 'Aaliyah' is accomplished fluid soul, with nothing too jagged or startling to spoil the polished veneer.
  8. Aaliyah only missteps when she tries to stretch outside of her musical comfort zones, indulging in Latin pop and cheesy metal on ''Read Between the Lines'' and ''What If,'' respectively.
  9. Though not as immediate as some of her past mainstream work, Aaliyah's latest has the smoky temptress slowly working her way through R&B, hip-hop and even slightly techno beats...
  10. Like [Missy] Elliott's terrific last release, Aaliyah gets into a sultry, late-night groove and sticks with it, but throws in enough sonic twists--like the moody piano and symphonic flourishes of "I Understand"--to keep it from getting redundant.
  11. 70
    At times, Aaliyah's somewhat frail, underpowered vocals seem insufficient to meet the emotional heights she seeks to attain (particularly on the epic ballad "I Refuse"), but simultaneously that's a large part of her appeal.
  12. At times the reliance on heavy-breathing, laid-back grooves is a little annoying--Aaliyah doesn't quite have the pipes to carry off melodramatic fare like "Never No More," and a few more club bangers on the order of the springy, sassy "U Got Nerve" certainly wouldn't have hurt.
  13. A fair bit of filler... [Sep 2001, p.106]
  14. 80
    Deeper than anything she's delivered before, Aaliyah's a hard record; almost never does a song roll over and beg to be loved. This makes the yielding moments all the sweeter. [Aug 2001, p.130]
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 29
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 29
  3. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Mar 13, 2015
    9
    An unusually fantastic R&B album with very slick songs and very skillful production. I liked "I Refuse", "We Need a Resolution" and "More ThanAn unusually fantastic R&B album with very slick songs and very skillful production. I liked "I Refuse", "We Need a Resolution" and "More Than a Woman" the best. Aaliyah, the princess of R&B, will be missed! Full Review »
  2. Dec 16, 2014
    10
    One of the best R&B albums of all time, she was crossing over to other genres. What other R&B artist was doing this? None. I can say so muchOne of the best R&B albums of all time, she was crossing over to other genres. What other R&B artist was doing this? None. I can say so much more but I'm not going to. If you've listened to the album then you know what I mean. Full Review »
  3. Aug 20, 2014
    10
    This album is pure perfection. Aaliyah is confident in her vocal ability. Her self-titled album showed her artistry. Aaliyah knows how to makeThis album is pure perfection. Aaliyah is confident in her vocal ability. Her self-titled album showed her artistry. Aaliyah knows how to make good music. From the futuristic "We Need a Resolution" to the sensual "Rock the Boat" to the classic, emotional ballad of "I Refuse" every song is interesting in every way. When Aaliyah jumped out of her usual R&B roots on "What If" it was like she was comfortable with that genre of music. Aaliyah is and was a true musician. This album showed true musicianship and shows that Aaliyah created a classic not only R&B, but classic album of all time. Full Review »