Aaliyah’s eyebrows had as much expression between them as any of the boy/girl bands of the time. Looking back on her third, final, and most-acclaimed record, it is striking how little she did to achieve a perfected R&B sound. There are no whistle notes, no wildly experimental beats; with one brow raised, the legendary singer simply glissades down love and heartbreak. There’s a melodramatic glaze, but it’s entirely within the purview of her spirit. It’s a simple fact that Aaliyah had such a defined presence that she didn’t need to compensate. Perhaps only D’Angelo and Erykah Badu have incarnated R&B with such effortless magnetism.
A favourite: ‘I Care 4 U’