In its first week of sales, Fantasia entered the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at number nineteen, with 133,000 discs sold. In June 2007, Fantasia was certified Gold by the RIAA for shipments of 500,000 copies.
The beat for "Baby Makin' Hips" was created by Don Cheegro and Dirty Harry, new producers working under the guidance of Dre & Vidal, producers of Ludacris' song "War with God". Her second single "When I See U" peaked at number thirty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number-one for eight weeks on the Urban charts. The music video for When I See U was shot by Lenny Bass on March 26, in Brooklyn.
Critical response to Fantasia was largely positive, as reviewers praised her vocals and charisma as well as the album's production; she drew multiple comparisons to Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Patti LaBelle.Rolling Stone magazine said the album "expands her range, adds some attitude and comes up with some genuine R&B gems."Allmusic found it "a bolder, better album than Free Yourself," adding that it "breaks Barrino free of her American Idol persona, giving her a sound and style that she can build a career upon."PopMatters.com said that "Fantasia is a solid second effort, made above average by that gem of a voice." Many critics also commented that the album's decidedly R&B nature (which translates to a reduced audience) was inevitable due to the lack of crossover success from Barrino's debut. Thomas Inskeep with Stylus magazine praised Fantasia's "rather astounding, multi-octave...voice, capable of the smoothest singing but also heavy on the grit," while at the same time lamenting that she will never be "America’s pop star...She’s too black." He then declared, "Fantasia wasn't meant to be America's pop star, anyway." Sal Cinquemani with Slant Magazine said that "Fantasia's sophomore effort isn't exactly her Breakaway [Kelly Clarkson's hugely successful second album], but it's certainly a more unified artistic statement than 2004's Free Yourself."