30 Days of Aaliyah
Day 24: Review of ‘I Care 4 U’
I was actually quite disappointed with this as a ‘Greatest Hits’ album. I feel this could have been and SHOULD have been done a whole lot better. Not only was the track-listing incredibly short (the unreleased tracks should have been on a disc all on their own) I was incredibly disappointed with the sloppiness of the packaging and the way it was put together. Like the spelling errors on the spine (minor to some people but it really irked the hell out of me) & don’t even get me started on the bootleg DVD that was included as a “gift” for the fans. Yeah…a gift. How thoughtful. The videos that were included on that DVD were of exceptionally poor quality. And that was if you were lucky enough to buy a copy where the DVD actually worked. I purchased 3 copies of ‘I Care 4 U’ when it was first released. Not one of the DVD’s that were included actually worked. Not on my DVD player. Not on my computer. When I went back to the record store, I was told by the sales person that this was a common problem with this particular album and that they’d had a lot of people complain about it and bring their copies back. I kept mine, simply because it was Aaliyah. And I wanted to support her. I then had to resort to buying an import version of the album, from HMV, that came with a sleeve (which excited me, as my previous copies did not) and lo and behold…the DVD actually worked. I was shocked. When I finally went through the videos…the excitement that came with the DVD finally working, gave way to disappointment. The videos were NOT HQ, the quality was almost as if these videos had just been ripped from the TV as a last resort. They were nothing like the quality of vids that came with her ‘AALIYAH’ album. There were no unreleased interviews, or performances that we as fans had yet to have seen. There was nothing that showed that any thought or feeling had gone into creating or packaging this album. I honestly felt like I had been duped. Like I had been used. Like I was just seen as a $ as was Aaliyah. I couldn’t believe someone who was supposed to be blood related to her, had put together such a thoughtless & emotionless “tribute” to her. There were so many amazing songs that weren’t even included on this album (4 Page Letter, If Your Girl Only Knew, Down With The Clique, The One I Gave My Heart To, Hot Like Fire, Journey To The Past, One In A Million (Timbaland Remix) ft. Ginuwine). This doesn’t even come close to representing her catalogue correctly or even her as an artist...period.
Aaliyah was a perfectionist and always made the fans feel special. Made them feel as if THEY were priority and THEY came directly after God and her family. She gave her all with everything she did. And it showed. But this album felt rushed. This album didn’t embody Aaliyah. It felt as if no thought had been put into it. It felt like a quick way to make a buck rather than a way to keep Aaliyah’s legacy alive & also please the fans. This wasn’t paying tribute to her. This wasn’t done FOR her. It was done for themselves. And we as fans got taken advantage of because ALL we wanted….was our Aaliyah back.
After Aaliyah passed, we were still looking for that piece of her. We wanted to feel as if she was still here. We wanted to hear her sing one more song. See one more video. SOMETHING…that would numb the pain of losing her, even just for a moment.
I was so excited at the thought of this album but was instead left feeling…almost betrayed. I felt as if the fans didn’t matter and that we were just an avenue for them to make some cash when they needed to since their biggest star was no longer here. ‘I Care 4 U’ was not a Greatest Hits album. It wasn’t even close. The only minor comfort at the time was the fact we received 6 unreleased tracks but it didn’t come close to representing Aaliyah & her incredible career like it could have and neither did Ultimate Aaliyah.
"Neither a posthumous album of all-new material nor a proper greatest hits package (among the casualties: One In a Million's “If Your Girl Only Knew,” “Four Page Letter” and the gold-selling “The One I Gave My Heart To”), I Care 4 U is a half-assed attempt at satiating the Aaliyah fan’s need for both.” - Slant Magazine
Fav “unreleased” tracks: Don’t Know What To Tell Ya & Miss You.