Thursday, April 16, 2015

Adina Howard: Welcome To Fantasy Island (Advance) (Mecca Don/EastWest, 1997)

The acrimoniously shelved second album from Michigan songstress Adina Howard who, along with Gina Thompson, Nicole Wray, Lil' Mo and many others, were unfortunate enough to be affiliated with the hapless EastWest Music Group in the late 90s/early 2000s. Welcome To Fantasy Island spawned one single before its cancellation, the DJ Quik-produced Freak (And U Know It) and Howard has remained a struggling artist ever since. Word around the campfire is that a disagreement between herself and her label CEO at the time was the reason for her blackballing but I am not going to indulge in hearsay here. EastWest Records shafted many excellent R&B artists during the late 90s/early 2000s and Howard was just one of many. Featuring contributions from DJ Quik (2), Bizzy Bone (3), Missy Elliott (5), Timbaland & Ginuwine (6), Jamie Foxx (9) and KC Hailey of Jodeci (10), Welcome To Fantasy Island showed a much more sensual side to Howard as apposed to the animalistic raunch of her debut. 90s R&B at its peak for me. Such a shame that it all went unnoticed... 

Welcome To My Queendom (Intro) 1:01
(Freak) And You Know It 5:15
Personal Freak 4:40
All About You 4:27
Crank Me Up 4:20*
Sexual Needs 4:49
Could Have Got Away 3:43
Another Level (Interlude) 1:41
T-Shirt & Panties 4:51*
I'll Be Damned If I Apologize 4:08
Don't Come Too Fast 5:38
Take Me Home 4:19
Lay Him Down 3:44
Ain't No Need 4:13
Satisfied (Outro) 1:43

*later reappeared on Howard's third album The Second Coming.