Picks and Pans Review: Tweet

UPDATED 03/28/2005 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/28/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

It's Me Again

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On her impressive 2002 debut Southern Hummingbird, Tweet caused a bit of a flap with her hit "Oops (Oh My)," an unabashed ode to female masturbation. On this follow-up, the songbird once again has a track that may ruffle some feathers. It's called "Sports, Sex & Food," and with its unenlightened advice about how to please a man ("The way to his heart is sports, sex and food") set against a handclapping gospel-blues groove, it would make Gloria Steinem bust a blood vessel. It's precisely this willingness to shake up the R&B status quo, though, that makes Tweet so fresh and funky. With her mentor Missy Elliott producing seven cuts, Tweet keeps it offbeat with left-field samples of Nat King Cole (on the first single "Turn Da Lights Off"), Louis Armstrong (on the alluring "You") and, best of all, the Taxi sitcom theme (on a hail-worthy "Cab Ride"). Smoothing out the trip-hop beats is an old-school soulfulness that shines through on uptempo numbers like the discofied "Things I Don't Mean" and lush, sensual slow jams like "Small Change," on which Tweet, with a grit and earthiness showing beneath her airy vocals, tells a no-good man that "your worth is less than small change."

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