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  Southern Hummingbird 
Artist: Tweet
Label: The Goldmine, Inc./ Elektra 
Length: 16 Tracks

The debut project from singer/songwriter/guitarist Tweet is appropriately titled _Southern Hummingbird_. Her soulful and sultry vocals soar like a bird, while her catchy R&B beats will have listeners humming along from the get go. Tweet is the latest in the neo-soul movement, falling somewhere in between the female version of Maxwell and a less vibrant Alicia Keys. (There are even slight hints of executive producer Missy Elliot’s influence thrown in).

Throughout the album, Tweet wears her heart on her sleeve, revealing various snippets from her personal journal within her songs. Just a few years ago, Tweet had plenty to write about, like the unfavorable production deal she signed that left her broke and depressed. “Complain” accurately conveys such personal frustrations, as drawn out with melancholy guitar playing at the beginning, with the mood turning hopeful during each gospel tinged chorus. “Heaven” follows with a spiritual vibe, relying on delicate jazz grooves and a series of finger snaps to drive home Tweet’s message of renewal.

But Tweet doesn’t dwell on just hitting her all time low and then digging herself out, nor does she only tread down a limited musical path. “Best Friend” is a steamy duet with Bilal that describes the transition of a friend into a lover, while the Latin flavored acoustic composition “Motel” chronicles the time Tweet caught her boyfriend cheating on her. “Smoking Cigarettes” is an easygoing soul jam amplified by occasional bits of layered harmonies while “Make UR Move” takes on a mild techno beat and steamy imagery.  

It’s hard not to support an intelligent artist like Tweet who’s always able to churn out a compelling story. Southern Hummingbird flows from start to finish, thanks mostly to the intermingling of ifferent genres on a regular basis, confirming her artistic relevance right out of the starting blocks.  

Andy Argyrakis 8/31/2002



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