Bittersweet

After the success of hit single "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)," many were ready to peg Blu Cantrell as a one-hit wonder.

After the success of hit single "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)," many were ready to peg Blu Cantrell as a one-hit wonder. But Cantrell proves the nonbelievers wrong with her much-delayed sophomore set, "Bittersweet." The album, which features production from She'kspere, Soulshock & Karlin and Mike City, is a perfect showcase for Cantrell's honey-dipped vocals. Lead single "Breathe," originally delivered to radio last year, now features red-hot reggae toaster Sean Paul. With Paul at Cantrell's side, the track is being embraced by many who ignored it the first time around. The lush, Shep Crawford-produced "Sleep in the Middle" is a classic-sounding soul record filled with angst and sincerity. Other highlights include "Make Me Wanna Scream" featuring Inner Circle's Ian Lewis, and Lil' Kim and Fat Joe on "Impatient."—RH