Producers: 7, Chink Santana, Irv Gotti.
ASHANTI won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Ashanti was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Award for Best New Artist. "Foolish" was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Import edition includes bonus DVD (PAL).
The young R&B thrush Ashanti makes an impressive showing on her self-titled debut album. Unlike many of her peers, Ashanti doesn't resort to vocal histrionics; this siren is more concerned with communicating the emotion of a song than showing off her chops. In fact, the reigning mood on this disc is a gauzy, slow-burn feel that makes the most of Ashanti's sensual, low-key style. Often she seems to be whispering right into your ear. Though there's an undercurrent of hip-hop-influenced production, that simmering, late-night feel remains consistent through the torch ballad "Foolish" (when will these spurned lovers learn?), the considerably less tortured "Happy," and the irresistible come-on of "Movies." Perhaps most telling of all, however, is the closing track "Thank You," which affords us the opportunity to hear Ashanti sing unaccompanied, revealing in plain sight the considerable pipes whose strength she tastefully downplays to fine effect throughout ASHANTI.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.102) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002" - "...Overflows with dimmed-lighting delights..."
Q (p.132) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[H]er midtempo love, with its satin-y mid-'80s sheen, is phenomenally slick and intelligent."
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