Fantasia, the latest American Idol, follows in the footsteps of those who came before her by dropping her surname and releasing Free Yourself, an album of mostly mediocre songs. Various styles are presented to showcase Fantasiaâ€šÃ„Ã´s talents, but any pop fan that doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t enjoy nasally voices will have trouble distinguishing between them.Missy Elliot and Rodney Jerkins are just some of the writers and producers who helped Fantasia craft this album. She even performs â€šÃ„ÃºYou Were Always On My Mind,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a song popularized by Willy Nelson and served well by Fantasia.
ame Nelson isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t the only writer not known for his street cred to pop up in the credits; Fantasia includes her cover of George Gershwinâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„ÃºSummertime.â€šÃ„Ã¹ She shines on the track, and many American Idol voters chose her because of it.
ame A more modern view is offered on â€šÃ„ÃºBaby Mama.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The song opens with recorded messages from proud, real-life baby mamas. Fantasia sings the praises of women working to pay bills, attend school, and raise children. â€šÃ„ÃºItâ€šÃ„Ã´s about time we had our own song/Donâ€šÃ„Ã´t know what took so long/Cuz nowadays itâ€šÃ„Ã´s like a badge of honor/To be a baby mama.â€šÃ„Ã¹
ame Fantasia also does well with the dance track â€šÃ„ÃºItâ€šÃ„Ã´s All Good.â€šÃ„Ã¹ She never really explains why itâ€šÃ„Ã´s all good that some man cheated and lied, but does offer a strong dance beat. â€šÃ„ÃºTruth Isâ€šÃ„Ã¹ offers a more complete narrative, based on a chance encounter with an old flame and the emotions that one lunch brings back.
ame There are some gems to be found as Fantasia frees herself, but a more forceful liberation would include less cover songs and more material fans havenâ€šÃ„Ã´t heard from Fantasia yet.