Through 2005, Charlene Keys' career traced a pattern familiar to that of a few R&B peers who arrived during the same era. Her debut album, thanks to a major crossover pop hit, went platinum. The follow-up materialized over two years later, after a label shake-up, featured no mainstream hit, but fared as well on the R&B chart as the debut. It took much longer, however, for the singer known as Tweet to settle into the industry's independent sector, where many of her contemporaries had found relative creative stability.
When Tweet disappeared from the R&B world in 2005, most thought her immediate return was inevitable. Her last full project, released in 2005 on Missy Elliott’s Goldmind label, was arguably her best work. It charted mildly well and was met with positive reviews from fans and critics alike. In other words, her future looked to be getting increasingly brighter – especially under Missy’s wing.
Yes, there’s more to R&B in early 2016 than Anderson .Paak. The Los Angeles dynamo has been rightly lionized for blending hip-hop, pimpish soul, and skate-park pop on his second album Malibu, following his breakthrough contributions (among far bigger names) on Dr. Dre’s swan song, Compton. But there are other currents to explore this season: hypnagogic funk, introspective acoustic soul, and Casanova urban pop.
Tweet, aka Charlene Keys, is best known for Oops (Oh My), a cheeky club hit from the Missy Elliott and Timbaland R&B heyday that's widely considered one of the greatest masturbation - er, self-love - anthems of all time. Although rootsy southern soul provided the backbone for her excellent 2002 debut, Southern Hummingbird, and its more muddled 2005 follow-up, It's Me Again, Oops was dancey, though not thematically far off from her subtler material. Songs like Smoking Cigarettes and Cab Ride zeroed in on misty-eyed quiet moments when you're alone - or feeling alone - and in love.