Single Review: Aaliyah “If Your Girl Only Knew”

If Your Girl Only Knew
Album: One In A Million
Year: 1996

On Aaliyah’s second album, “One In A Million,” she began to work with newcomers Timbaland and Missy Elliott. With Timbaland and Elliott, her sound became experimental and sophisticated. Timbaland mixed drum and bass with R&B while Elliott did the vocal arrangements.

If Your Girl Only Knew details a high school type drama of a guy whom is hitting on Aaliyah, but yet has a girlfriend. Aaliyah, in turn, challenges him and calls him on it in the chorus. Elliott’s vocal arrangements are superb, as they move from alto to soprano, and back again. The vocals bring out a more confident voice in Aaliyah, which was only hinted at previously. Timbaland’s music also features unusual background sounds. In this single, it’s the “aahhhhs.” Although it seems it though it was recorded in a little paper cup and made to sound tinny on purpose. It’s a great effect and shows exactly how Timbaland and Missy Elliott layer their music without it being overproduced.

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