Back to Me - Fantasia
Back to Me Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: The American Idol songstress returns with her highly anticipated third album featuring--for the first time as a bonus track--Fantasia's signature song from her acting role in The Color Purple.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Throughout "Back to Me,'' Fantasia appears to be an artist reborn - or maybe just in love.
  2. At 26, she sounds like she's learning what to let go of and what to keep, a long journey to be sure; on "Back to Me," she sounds up for the task.
  3. Fantasia's rough-hewn vocals shine best on "The Thrill Is Gone," which features a similarly raspy 
Cee-Lo Green.
  4. Fantasia doesn't invest the songs with subtle emotion so much as she indulges in balls-out emotional overdrive, overloading these simple songs with histrionics that are compelling in the short term and even if they're exhausting over the long haul these full-throttle pyrotechnics make Back to Me her most interesting album.
  5. While Fantasia delivers a soulful, laid-back album with tinges of gospel, her distinct voice is most enjoyable when singing heartfelt ballads.
  6. Revelations are few on Back to Me; instead, Fantasia and her collaborators – including guest Cee Lo Green and Ne-Yo - bask in mostly stripped-down live arrangements.
  7. She makes a genuine effort here, but not even the legendary R&B singers to whom she has been compared could elevate this material.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. May 3, 2013
    Better than Jennifer Hudson's album "I Remember Me". A mix of pop and r&b music by one of the best singers on American Idol. She killed in all the tracks Expand
  2. Aug 28, 2010
    Let us look past the recent suicide attempt, the mediocre past album sales, that voice that can sharply divide a room of people into admirers and enemies.

    Back to Me, the R&B singer's third album, finds Fantasia reflecting on her inner demons and the demons of those she chooses to surround herself with. It really is back to Fantasia, even if the quasi-sentiment conflicts with recent happenings. Often times suffering from dated, over-productions in the studio (and Back to Me sure has its share of moments), Fantasia's gems in her back catalog are primarily the frivolous, booty-shaking numbers ("Not the Way I Do," "Hood Boy," "Selfish," "Baby Makin' Hips"). What is a shame is that she's never been able to translate what kind of artist she intrinsically is; her ballads (where her voice, that amazingly untrained and unhinged Patti LaBelle meets Cookie Monster voice) seems insincere and tamed on tape. Back to Me seems to have slightly improved on this. "The Worst Part is Over" is full of emotion, "The Thrill is Gone," featuring her male counterpart Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley fame, is one of her best and believable ballads to date. "Collard Greens & Cornbread," despite its vapid title and slightly messy production, is delightfully swaying and nice. "Even Angels," the first promotional song released, is the singer's most successful and accessible single to date, even if it only dented the charts. The stand-out track here, though, is "I'm Here," taken from the musical in which she (sometimes) starred in The Color Purple. With only a few meandering strings, plucking guitars, and tinkling piano, Fantasia's voice is the driving force. Back to Me is a small step in the right direction for the singer, whose place on the urban charts, honestly, will probably not ever reach the highest of places. Fantasia is a soul singer to the core, whose voice can convey much more than is offered in a cookie-cutter, generic R&B feel-good number.