Writeup, general-audience version: You know, Cassie was the singer who did “Me & U.” She’s making a new album, which we’ve pinged your radar with before, and is trying to emulate Aaliyah. Not a bad idea, really, considering their voices, but you, the general audience, will be forgiven your skepticism.
Writeup, fan and/or music-geek version: New music from Cassie! There are two writeups because Cassie’s simultaneously a near-one hit wonder (“Long Way to Go“) peaked at No. 97 on the Hot 100 and didn’t even make the top 100 on the R&B charts) but a massive cult figure thanks to her icy voice and stop-start career, and perhaps her musical involvement with Ryan Leslie (also a cult figure.) It’s to the point where critics routinely compare new artists to her, particularly intentionally-blank types like Dev.
No matter which camp you fall into, these two Cassie tracks from the Bad Boy: The Preview mixtape, downloadable here, are worth hearing. Neither are the single–that’ll be “King of Hearts,” according to Diddy–but it’s still encouraging that Cassie is the best thing about both of them (an intentionally off-key “Marvin’s Room” interpolation on “Radio”? Really? At least Jada’s verse on “Make You a Believer” is decent, although that particular track’s been floating online for years.) Maybe we’ve just missed her voice, or maybe we think music needs more TLC and Destiny’s Child references, since albums aren’t an option. Cassie’s album is slated for 2012; is it so much to ask that “Radio”‘s chorus becomes self-fulfilling?