Back to Me (Fantasia album)

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Back to Me
Fantasia backtome cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 24, 2010[1]
Fantasia Barrino chronology
Back to Me
Side Effects of You
Singles from Back to Me
  1. "Bittersweet"
    Released: May 11, 2010
  2. "I'm Doin' Me"
    Released: September 28, 2010
  3. "Collard Greens & Cornbread[2]"
    Released: April 11, 2011

Back to Me is the third studio album by American singer and songwriter Fantasia Barrino. It was released on August 24, 2010, by J Records.[3] The album is her first studio album in four years since 2006's Fantasia. The album's title was suggested to her by comedian Steve Harvey, when Barrino visited his morning radio program.[4] The album sold 117,000 in its first week, debuting at number two on the US Billboard 200 and at number one on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it Fantasia's highest charting album as of September 2010.[5]


The album was originally set for release in early 2010,[6] but after an underperforming first single and numerous leaks, J Records ordered more tracks for the album, postponing the album's release until further studio sessions, and stronger singles were recorded. Her label recruited Claude Kelly to add a more contemporary, commercial sound to the album.[7] The project's lead single, "Bittersweet" was released to iTunes on May 11, 2010, and was performed live on American Idol, while a new release date was set for July 27, 2010.[1] The album was again pushed back to August 10, 2010[8] and finally to August 24, 2010.[3]

To promote the album, Barrino embarked on her first solo concert tour, Back to Me Tour in the fall of 2010.[9]


  • "Even Angels", the album's promotional single, was performed on The Oprah Winfrey Show on February 3, 2010.[10] The single was never promoted after the performance or sent to radio for airplay. It was later featured on Episode 11 of the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race, as part of RuPaul's "Lip sync for your life" song list, in which Barrino was a guest judge.
  • "Bittersweet", the album's first official single, was released on May 11, 2010 and then performed the next day on American Idol.[11] The music video was released on Vevo on June 25, 2010 and featured NFL star Devin Thomas as her love interest.[12] Fantasia was also a guest on BET's 106 and Park on her birthday, June 30, 2010, to premiere the video internationally.[13] The track peaked at number one on the US Billboard Adult R&B Chart,[14] at number seven on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at number 74 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[15] "Bittersweet" was Fantasia's fourth song to reach the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including "Truth Is", "Free Yourself", and "When I See U".
  • "I'm Doin' Me", the second "official" single from the album, debuted at number 97 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs and peaked at number 11.[16][17][18][19]
  • "Collard Greens & Cornbread" is the third official single from the album. Fantasia performed the song on American Idol's result night on March 31, 2011.[20][21] The song was officially released as a radio single on April 11, 2011.[22] The song debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 73. The single has since peaked at number 47 on the chart.[23]

Commercial performance[edit]

Back to Me sold 117,000 copies in its debut week earning Barrino a number two debut on the US Billboard 200 chart[24] and a total of 490,000 copies as of April 2013.[25] Back to Me topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. First single "Bittersweet" peaked at number seventy-four on US Billboard Hot 100, number seven on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number sixty-six in Japan (Japan Hot 100 chart). It sold 90,000 copies. "I'm Doin' Me" debuted at number ninety-seven on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles, but later peaked at number eleven. It also peaked at number sixty on US Billboard Radio Songs chart, selling 29,000 copies.

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[27]
The Boston Globefavorable[29]
Entertainment WeeklyB[30]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[32]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[33]
Slant Magazine1.5/5 stars[34]
The New York Daily News4/5 stars[35]

Upon its release, Back to Me received generally positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, it has so far received an average score of 70 based on 7 reviews.[26]

Ken Capobianco with The Boston Globe called the record "a strong comeback"[29] and went on to say that "Fantasia has matured [and] appears to be an artist reborn."[29] Mariel Concepcion with Billboard called it a "soulful, laid-back album with tinges of gospel"[28] and went on to say "her distinct voice is most enjoyable when singing heartfelt ballads.[28] Jim Farber with The New York Daily News called it "a wail of a comeback".[35] He also said it "outperforms the singer's first two works, with meatier hooks, firmer melodies, and a more shrewdly focused point of view."[35] Mikael Wood with Entertainment Weekly gave it a "B" rating, commenting "Fantasia's rough-hewn vocals shine best on The Thrill Is Gone."[30] Stephen Thomas Erlewine with AllMusic called it her "most interesting album", and commented saying that she was "reconnecting with her roots."[27]

However, Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine stated "the material [Fantasia] has been saddled with has been extraordinarily awful" but still described her positively as an "uninhibited, intuitive soul singer with a truly distinctive sense of phrasing and boundless passion".[34]

The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album.

Track listing[edit]

Back to Me – Standard edition
1."I'm Doin' Me"Chuck Harmony3:56
  • Harmon
  • Kelly
3."Man of the House"
4."Who's Been Lovin' You?"Los Da Mystro3:38
5."Collard Greens & Cornbread"Pop & Oak3:52
6."Teach Me"
7."Move on Me"
  • Barrino
  • Ho
  • Prather
  • Wilson
  • Malay
  • KP
8."Trust Him"Novel3:12
9."The Thrill Is Gone" (featuring CeeLo Green)
  • Malay
  • KP
10."Falling in Love Tonight"
11."Even Angels"The Stereotypes3:52
12."I'm Here" (from The Color Purple musical)
  • Russell
  • Willis
  • Bray
Total length:45:59


  • ^[a] signifies co-producer

Sample credits


  • Chris Athens – mastering
  • Warren Luening, Larry Hall, Rick Baptist – trumpet
  • Yelena Yergorian, Josefina Vergara, Tammy Hatwan, Julie Rogers, Katia Popov, Searmi Park, Alyssa Park, Sid Page, Natalie Leggett, Neel Hammond, Henry Gronnier, Caroline Campbell, Charlie Bisharat – violin
  • Derek Blanks – photography
  • Jesse Bond, James Harrah – guitar
  • Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell, Allee Willis – producer
  • Tanisha Broadwater, Donnie Meadows, Kimberly L. Smith, David "Touch" Wright – production coordination
  • Robert Brophy, Brian Dembow, Thomas Diener, Alma Fernandez – viola
  • Ndugu Chancler – drums
  • Benjamin Chang, Jaymz Hardy-Martin III, Mike "TrakGuru" Johnson, Scott Naughton – engineer
  • Giovanna Clayton, Steve Erdody, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Tim Loo – celli
  • Los DaMystro – conductor, producer
  • Bruce Dukov – concert master, violin
  • Warren Felder, Fantasia, Claude Kelly, Tiffany Villarreal, Andrew Wansel – backing vocals
  • Frank Filipetti, Carlton Lynn, Robert – engineer, mixing
  • Ashanti "The Mad Violinist" Floyd – cello, viola, violin
  • Moses Gallart, Jesus Garnica, Chad Jolley, Giancarlo Lino, Conrad Martin, Aaron Walk, Jason Wilkie – assistant
  • Erwin Gorostiza – creative director
  • Chuck Harmony – bass, drums, guitar, producer, vocal producer
  • Dan Higgins, Greg Huckins, Joel Peskin – clarinet
  • Alex Iles, Bill Reichenbach, Reggie Young – trombone

Jaycen Joshua – mixing

  • Alphonso Johnson – bass
  • Jim Jonsin – keyboards, producer, programming
  • Joseph Joubert – arranger, conductor
  • Rico Love – producer, vocal producer
  • Graham Marsh – engineer, vocal engineer
  • Deaundra Metzger – hair stylist
  • Joe Mitchell – percussion
  • Danny Morris – keyboards
  • Keith Naftaly – A&R
  • Ne-Yo – producer, backing vocals
  • Greg Phillinganes – organ, synthesizer
  • Tony Reyes – bass, guitar
  • Victor Simonson – piano
  • Lucky Smyler – make-up
  • The Stereotypes – engineer, producer
  • Denise Trotman – art direction, design
  • Julian Vasquez – vocal engineer
  • Pamela Watson – stylist
  • Gina Zimmitti – contractor



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