**This article was written by Will of WillCollection.com.
Fantasia Barrino won America’s heart on American Idol, becoming the winner of Season 3 of the reality television show. Her debut album, Free Yourself (which was released via J. Records), contained award winning records such as the title track Free Yourself, Truth Is, and the baby mommy anthem Baby Momma. Recently though, Fantasia hasn’t seen the success with her latest efforts; she’s been experimenting with her music and has seemingly evaporated out of the music consumers’ consciousness, which is unfortunate.
How can Fantasia rocket back to the Billboard Hot 100 and have what would be considered a commercially successful album? The only way I foresee this happening is if Fantasia works with her strengths and bring a refreshingly new–some may say old–sound to the market. I believe that consumers are more than willing to stream an album once over, which doesn’t yield much money to an artist, before they’re willing to pay for a physical record, which does. As I’ve been observing the music scene and my own purchasing patterns over the last year, I’ve noticed that in order for me to even consider purchasing an album either physically or digitally it has to make an musical emotional connection with me when I steam it, which is a big undertaking for any artists, even established R&B artists.
The type of record that I believe only Fantasia can craft and make a success is one that heavily samples the 1970s music of artists like Betty Wright’s Tonight Is The Night & Shirley Brown’s Don’t Go Lookin For My Man. The type of album that brings back the soulful story telling of that era and uniting it with the contemporary sounds and stories of today. I feel like Fantasia embracing her inner Baby Patti Labelle would be welcomed with open ears and be something that only she can pull off.
While Fantasia’s last album, Side Effects Of You, was reviewed favorably and considered a progression from her previous work, it wasn’t commercially successful moving only 90,000 unit in its first week. Pitching such a risky album to the label may be a tough sale, thankfully the music industry and music consumers have evolved as they have, there’s room now for artists to experiment and get instant feedback. To test the viability of such work, I would suggest that she records a few tracks and release them as an EP and see what the music consumer reaction is to it. If it’s positive and generate buzz and moves units she could then pitch the album to the label. In this new era of music, albums that are executive produced by one producer often come across as more cohesive, and that cohesiveness is vital to creating that musical emotional bond with the listener that would be required to elicit purchases of albums. For her album Side Effects Of You, while Harmony Samuels produced the majority of the tracks, it didn’t come across as cohesive. I feel that R&B is being shortchanged by the absence of Fantasia and that a record as has been proposed here is possibly the only way Fantasia musical career can reach heights that it has yet to achieve and propel her back into the music consumer consciousness.