This Is Who I Am

This Is Who I Am

4.7 17
by Heather Headley
     
 

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Broadway diva Heather Headley left her Tony Award–winning stint as the lead in Elton John's pop-rock version of the grand opera Aida to pursue a recording career. The result is This Is Who I Am, a sophisticated blend of gospel-inspired R&B, India.Arie–esque neo-soul,See more details below

Overview

Broadway diva Heather Headley left her Tony Award–winning stint as the lead in Elton John's pop-rock version of the grand opera Aida to pursue a recording career. The result is This Is Who I Am, a sophisticated blend of gospel-inspired R&B, India.Arie–esque neo-soul, and pop produced by über-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Janet Jackson), Shep Crawford (Yolanda Adams), and Dallas Austin (TLC). The recurring theme of This Is Who I Am is love, and Headley engagingly sings about romance's joys (the homage to good men "He Is") and pains (the kick-that-triflin'-man-to-the-curb mid-tempo jam "Fulltime"). Each track showcases a different facet of the dynamic singer's persona and the versatility of her rich, stage-honed, honey-coated vocals. Headley's star has shone brightest on Broadway, and indeed, her flair for the dramatic helps to infuse this set of 12 songs with excitement. From the quietly stirring Jam and Lewis–produced ballad "I Wish I Wasn't" to the sassy, Austin-produced blues-stomp "Like Ya Use To" to Crawford's Toni Braxton–reminiscent power ballad "Always Been Your Girl," the splendid This Is Who I Am heralds Headley's arrival as a new R&B and pop sensation.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Though she didn't come out of the R&B tradition, Heather Headley has plenty of soul on her debut, This Is Who I Am. Headley, a singer whose vocal strength isn't mere compensation for a lack of interpretive skills or lame songwriting, possesses a range that's surprising and welcome; she slips on dramatic personas continually here, quite ironic considering the title. The arrangements aren't exactly hooky, but the cast of producers -- including Dallas Austin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and D'Influence, use everything in their power -- from a Hammond B-3 to synthesizers -- to flesh out these songs. Occasionally, the songs don't reflect their age very well, as on the regrets of a stay-at-home girlfriend ("I Wish I Wasn't") or an increasingly angry housewife who's been neglected ("Like Ya Used To"). The opener, "He Is" (by songwriter/producer Joshua Nile), is very good though -- an intriguing angle on female thoughts about the male side of love (or, just possibly, a look at the aspects of God). Headley sounds excellent throughout, her voice pure as crystal on the ballads, occasionally outré in similar fashion to Mariah Carey, but gritty and soulful when she's sorting out the responsibilities of a relationship in "Fulltime."

Product Details

Release Date:
10/08/2002
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0078636937649
catalogNumber:
69376

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Heather Headley   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Rob Mounsey   Piano
Dallas Austin   Guitar
Terrence Elliot   Guitar
Jimmy Jam   Multi Instruments
Terry Lewis   Multi Instruments
Richard Locker   Cello
Audrey Martells   Background Vocals
Jeff Mironov   Guitar
Renee Neufville   Background Vocals
V. Jeffrey Smith   Multi Instruments
Chukki Starr   Rap
Shelley Woodworth   Oboe
Deborah Cox   Background Vocals
Tomi Martin   Guitar
Michael Norfleet   Keyboards
Jeremy Ruzumna   Hammond Organ
James "Big Jim" Wright   Keyboards
Kwame Kwaten   Keyboards
Steve Marston   Percussion
Steve Mostyn   Bass
Vanessa A. Jones   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Rob Mounsey   Arranger,Producer
D'Influence   Producer
Steve Ferrera   Producer,Executive Producer,Direction
Steve Hodge   Engineer
Jimmy Jam   Arranger,Producer
Terry Lewis   Arranger,Producer
Herb Powers   Mastering
Rick Sheppard   Engineer,MIDI,Sound Design
V. Jeffrey Smith   Programming,Engineer
Lascelles Stephens   Vocal Arrangements
Reed Vertelney   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Andy Zulla   Engineer
Deborah Cox   Vocal Arrangements
Mike Ging   Engineer
Carlton Lynn   Engineer
Anne Catalino   Engineer,Pro-Tools
Brett Kilroe   Art Direction
Adam Kagan   Engineer
Vada Nobles   Producer
Shep Crawford   Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Dave Way   Producer
Christine Sirois   Engineer
James Muller   Engineer
Heather Headley   Producer
Wayne Allison   Engineer

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