Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
"The Fantasy That Is Ms. Adina Howard"
G. Portades | National City, CA | 10/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The sophomore follow-up album to her gold-selling debut "Do You Wanna Ride?" (which featured the #2 platinum hit "Freak Like Me" and the singles "My Up & Down" and "It's All About You"), "Welcome To Fantasy Island" (originally titled "Portrait Of A Lady") was set for a release date in July 1997. Bolstered by the club-friendly DJ Quik-produced lead single "[Freak] And U Know It", the album was shelved due to Elektra Records' decision that the album 'contained no singles' afterwards, and the fact that the single didn't become successful.
Their decision not to release this album was a very bad move on their part. Although the album went unreleased, promotional copies of it have been sold on eBay for hundreds of dollars, and it's been distributed over the internet.
Without the contribution to the "Woo" soundtrack of the album track "T-Shirt & Panties" featuring Jamie Foxx (originally set to be included on the "Booty Call" soundtrack a year earlier), Adina's name would've been forgotten. It's no wonder why she included the song (as well as another album track from here, "Crank Me Up" featuring Missy Elliott") on her 2004 effort "The Second Coming".
But alas, this is a review of her album, and not a complete history lesson on this album. So here we go:
01. Welcome To My Queendom (Intro)
Adina starts off the album with this introduction, sounding like an invite into her world of fantasy. Nothing more than an interlude, it sets the album's tone right off from the beginning.
02. [Freak] And U Know It
The lead single, produced by DJ Quik (although he doesn't make a rap appearance), it was a club-sounding track that was widely protested by Adina as the first single (but the label wanted it). Along with the video, the song reminds listeners how much of a freak Adina is, and that she's proud about it. Slickly produced, the album version is an extended version of the single edit.
03. All About U
A bouncy track, that could've shared the same title has her 3rd single off her first album, except the "It's" is omitted and the "You" is replaced with just the letter. It's basically a song about Adina telling her man that it's all about him, and that she's thankful for having him.
04. Personal Freak
Sultry vocals make this song one of the standouts, also including an appearance by Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony rapper Bizzy Bone. This song is an uptempo affair that tries to show there's more to Adina than what you just see. Alternating raps and singing verses between Adina and Bizzy Bone make this a kind of duet between the two.
05. Crank Me Up
Another standout from the album, written, produced & featuring Missy Elliott, this song is an infectious innovative track that is what you except when you work with Missy Elliott. Adina sounds her best on this track, and the production is just perfect.
06. Sexual Needs
A futuristic jam that was written by R&B balladeer Ginuwine, this song is a seductive track that gets better with each listen.
07. Could've Got Away
A strange track, especially coming from Adina, sounds reminiscent of the old school rap songs of the early 90s. However, it works. "I could've gotten away if I wasn't so damn high" is an amusing bumping song that has a funky breakdown towards the end.
08. Another Level (Interlude)
A continuation on the intro, it just features Adina narrating things she'd like to do, furthering the album.
09. T-Shirt & Panties
Now one of Adina's signature songs, this was slated to be the first single (or second single off the "Woo" soundtrack), but plans well through although a DJ Clue Remix featuring Charli Baltimore & Cam'ron was made. Sexy, smoky, and undeniably an unforgettable track.
10. I'll Be Damned If I Apologize
Featuring K-Ci Hailey (of Jodeci, and K-Ci & JoJo), this was an anticipated duet that works with the two's vocals, but the background vocals somewhat diminish the song's greatness. An excellent duet between the two, especially the third verse, a better hook, background vocals, and perhaps an instrumental would make this song a standout. Remix anyone?
11. Don't Come Too Fast
Included as a bonus track on the "[Freak] And U Know It" CD maxi-single, this song was a slow-pulsating song that talks about, what else, sex. It's an all right song.
12. Take Me Home
One of Adina's first fortays into a jazz-influenced number, it's an amazing late night track that brims with amazing vocals.
13. Lay Him Down
It sounds like the same production from "Sexual Needs", but this song is a lot better than it. Excellent production makes this song another standout. Adina sings the song with a fast-paced speed (similar to Mariah Carey in "Shake It Off").
14. Ain't No Need
Reminds me of "Take Me Home", only because Trina & Tamara Powell (sisters to R&B balladeer Jesse Powell) are singing background on it also. A quiet, timid sense of vocals from Adina makes this song a good closing track, in that it completes the album's transformation from uptempos to slow jams.
15. Satisifed (Outro)
Closing out the album, it ends the album on a quiet storm note, ending the trip to the fantasy island that is Ms. Adina Howard."
THE ULTIMATE ADINA HOWARD
keveione | 12/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I THOUGHT THAT THE NEW ALBULM WAS TIGHT. I HATE THEY DIDN'T PUT
HER SECOND ALBULM OUT. BUT MY GIRL ADINA DIDNT LET THEM GET HER DOWN SO SHE IS COMING OUT WITH A NEW CD THIS WINTER CALLED ~EXPRESSION~ MAKE SURE U GET THE NEW CD
LOVE U ADINA U ARE MY NUMBER 1 FAN"
Finally Heard It Today And......
Ervin Griffin | Bluefield, WV | 05/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think its better than her first album "Do You Wanna Ride?" (and by the way, what is REAL music is all relative to the perception of the listener).None of Adina's albums stink in my view but this middle one may have been stronger than the first. I don't think its better than the new one that's out now "The Second Coming." Remember, Fantasy Island was never released in the U.S. but was available overseas where it did pretty well I heard.If you liked her first album, you'll probably like this one too as it is pretty much the same lines only a bit stronger. Adina's voice especially comes out during mid-tempo to slow type songs."