R&B Album Review: 'Side Effects of You' Fantasia

Fantasia eschews the de rigueur boatload of producers for her fourth album, focusing on a sound she's dubbed in press materials as "rock soul." Produced primarily by Harmony Samuels, the set finds the singer also flexing her songwriting muscles with the London transplant, as well as Emeli Sandé, Missy Elliott, Andrea Martin and Eric Bellinger. Discoursing on love and life in frank terms, Fantasia reps her rock soul concept most winningly on "End of Me," lead single "Lose to Win" (which samples the Commodores' "Nightshift") and the piercing title track. She also throws dashes of reggae ("Ain't All Bad"), church (the "Girl Talk" interlude), old-school partyin' ("Get It Right") and hip-hop (the sweetly emphatic "Without Me," featuring Elliott and Kelly Rowland) into the mix. More international in flavor and more adventurous than earlier outings, "Side Effects of You" gives Fantasia the chance to fully show off her vocal versatility.