Looking back with the gift of hindsight, this is a strange album. Like most 90s R&B albums, it's a balance between upbeat numbers and ballads that skews far too heavily in favor of the ballads. But that's the rub - this is one of the very few albums that benefits from such a bias, because a lot of the ballads here are unusually good. Occasionally, they're brilliant. Mostly, they aim for sensuality and style over schmaltz, and they sound all the better for it. The upbeat tracks, however, simple aren't up to scratch, the great "Hot Like Fire" aside.
Later, Aaliyah would become like every else - her next album would showcase great dance numbers, then ruin the flow with syrupy crap - but here, she's a curio. This is modern R&B through the looking glass.