Aaliyah: Ultimate Aaliyah

By Rebecca Barry Hill

Herald rating: * * *

You have to wonder who's the winner here. You, who gets a double disc and a 60-minute DVD featuring stock standard promo clips, interviews and familiar footage of the late Aaliyah at work. Or the record company, who just keep milking this baby.

This is a thicker, slicker version of I Care 4 U, the greatest hits package of 2003 which featured six previously unreleased tracks. Of the new release, the first disc includes 16 of her greatest hits from her first three albums, and on the good side, the songs still stack up.

Rock the Boat, Try Again, We Need A Resolution, Hot Like Fire and even bluesy ballad I Care 4 U prove Aaliyah's point of difference was a sultry, subtle delivery, an Amazonian yet wholesome image and great producers - Timbaland, John Blaze and ex-hubby R Kelly among them - who sculpted her tunes into futuristic, twitchy, lush, exotic works of art.

Second disc Are You Feelin' Me feels more of a space-filler, featuring nine unreleased and rare tracks, including a pretty ordinary remix of More Than A Woman and a handful of unmemorable songs that weren't released until now. But if you're a true fan you'll come away with an extra three pieces of plastic.

Label: Shock

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