Before there was Twitter there was Tweet, the brown-skinned beauty with a voice as rich as mahogany. A voice that felt as familiar as an aunt who was always singing at all of the family functions, birthday parties, dinners or funerals. That’s who Tweet has always been, and now, without much of a warning, she has come back to our ears with her third album, Charlene.
Charlene is Tweet’s first album in over a decade and for many including myself, a great reintroduction. Of the album, Tweet told Billboard Magazine,
“In 2005, I was really in a bad place. I kind of hit rock bottom. So on Charlene, you’ll probably hear a lot more secure Charlene. I’m fine with who I am and secure as the woman and artist. I’m not afraid. Spiritually, mentally, I’m just in this whole other place, and I’m excited and I’m ready for whatever is to come.”
And listening to the album, the confident woman that Tweet claims to be is exactly who listeners will actually hear. Covering topics that explore the various stages and feelings that come with relationships, Tweet sounds very in touch with who she is on both an emotional and spiritual level. Honestly speaking, this is an album that you will go through the emotions and levels with. You can feel what it is she is actually singing about. It’s a very mature and honest album, and the production on the album serves as the perfect backdrop. Overall, this album just feels very raw and shows tremendous growth for Tweet.
The entire album is great, making it difficult to identify the highlights. Both “The Outro: I Struggle” and “Dadada… Struggle” are such beautiful songs that I wish were longer. The lyrics and production on both are beautiful and give a great background for Tweet’s beautiful voice. “The Hardest Thing” is a song that makes you really want to walk into a Baptist Church. I’m sure in context, this song is about letting go of a tumultuous relationship and not settling, but in delivery it feels like a somewhat religious experience. With lyrics like, “I’m tired of disappointments/ want to leave them all behind me/ move forward without regrets / But I don’t know how hard all of this would be” it just feels like a clean slate, and clear palette. “Priceless” is a masterpiece from beginning to end–literally, from when the music starts to when Tweet starts singing. This exact sentiment is felt again for the track “Magic”, which was produced by Bereal. Not only is the production flawless, but this song also makes you want to feel in love without the cheesy you-make-me-see-butterflies aspect that most songs include these days.
Another highlight comes in the form of the Missy Elliot assisted “Somebody Else Will”. We all know Tweet and Missy make magic – think: “Oops (Oh My)” and that same magic can be felt on “Somebody Else Will”. Of the song, Tweet told Billboard: “When Missy wrote ‘Somebody Else Will’ she sent it to me and I had to have this record. I love the message behind it because I’m all about revelation and girl power and knowing that you don’t have to stay in a situation that’s not good for you. I loved the song, so I had to do it.” Not to mention, the production laid down by Timbaland, will have your head bopping the whole time with a stank face.
Charlene is a great album and a great way to introduce herself back to the industry. In a climate where people are constantly getting so much music fed to them, yet complaining about things like how soul music dying, this is testament that the feelings about soul aren’t necessarily true. I definitely highly recommend this album.