Southern Hummingbird

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Southern Hummingbird
Studio album by Tweet
Released April 2, 2002 (2002-04-02)
Recorded 1998–02;
Genre R&B, neo soul, downtempo
Length 66:27
Label Goldmind, Elektra
Producer Craig Brockman, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott (also exec.), Troy Johnson, Jubu, Nisan Stewart, Timbaland (also exec.), Tweet (also exec.)
Tweet chronology
Southern Hummingbird
It's Me Again
Singles from Southern Hummingbird
  1. "Oops (Oh My)"
    Released: January 15, 2002 (2002-01-15)
  2. "Call Me"
    Released: May 28, 2002 (2002-05-28)
  3. "Boogie 2nite / Smoking Cigarettes"
    Released: December 2, 2002 (2002-12-02)

Southern Hummingbird is the debut studio album by American recording artist Tweet, released on April 2, 2002 by The Goldmind Inc. and Elektra Records. The album features production by Timbaland, Craig Brockman, Nisan Stewart, guitarist John "Jubu" Smith, and Tweet herself. It also features guest vocals by Elliott, Bilal, and BeatClub Records' Ms. Jade, and included a bonus track performed by Elliott, "Big Spender", which samples the song of the same name from the 1966 musical Sweet Charity.

Upon release the album was met with positive reviews from music critics who commended the album's musical direction and its lyrical content. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 195,000 copies in its first week.[1] Southern Hummingbird was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on April 30, 2002,[2] and has sold 858,000 units in the US as of March 2005.[3]

The album was preceded by lead single "Oops (Oh My)", which reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[4] After the successful lead single, the album spawned another two, the Timbaland-produced "Call Me" and the radio single "Smoking Cigarettes", which had a video shot for it directed by Little X, but was never released.


In the early nineties, Tweet joined the female trio Sugah, leaving her daughter with her parents in Panama City, Florida, while Tweet relocated to many places. Sugah was composed of Tweet, Susan Weems, and Rolita White, and was a part of Devante Swing's Swing Mob collective. While there, she met Timbaland, Magoo, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott (who at the time was a part of Sista), Playa, Ginuwine, and Renee Anderson who were also all a part of the Swing Mob collective. During her time with Sugah, Tweet formed a close friendship with Elliott. in 1999 with Sugah going nowhere, Tweet returned to her parents' home in Panama City penniless and depressed. After Tweet fell into a deeper depression after a string of bad relationships and a number of jobs she had suicidal thoughts, but she received a phone call from Elliott, calling to ask if Tweet would contribute background vocals on her then-latest album Miss E… So Addictive. Tweet felt she could tell Elliott about her situation and what she was going through.

In 2000, Tweet began recording vocals for Elliott's album and was also reunited with her old friends from the Swing Mob days, Timbaland, Magoo, Playa, and Ginuwine. She also recorded vocals for Timbaland and Magoo's follow-up to their platinum-selling 1997 debut album, Welcome to Our World, and Timbaland's solo album, Tim's Bio: Life from da Bassment. In 2001, Elliott released her platinum-selling third album, Miss E… So Addictive, with Tweet contributing vocals to five tracks. 2001 also saw the release of Ja Rule's Pain Is Love, Bubba Sparxxx's Dark Days, Bright Nights, Petey Pablo's Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry, and Timbaland and Magoo's Indecent Proposal, on all of which Tweet contributed vocals.

Music and lyrics[edit]

This album is an irresistible blend of blues, rootsy soul, and soft acoustic rock, with poignant and heartfelt lyrical phrasing. A truly impressive debut album so expect more soulful humming from one of r&b's rising stars.

— Keyshia Davis, BBC[5]

According to Keysha Davis from the BBC the album is a blend of blues, rootsy soul, and soft acoustic rock.[6] "Southern Hummingbird" and Tweet were commended for creating a "mood in the room that might either make you want to take your clothes off or that of your significant others."[7] Noting the album's musical style as groovy and "just feels good".[7] Songs like “Smoking Cigarettes” were noticed for making the listener feel how Tweet feels.[7] Tweets voice was compared to the album's title with critics saying "she's not called the Southern Hummingbird for no reason" continuing to say Tweets vocals were "Soft, gentle, emotional and captivating."[7]

Lyrically the album fixates on the opposite sex, noted by The A.V. Club for its lyrical "intensity that borders on pathological". The album opens with Tweet "writhing in a pit of suicidal despair", followed by themes of Tweet singing about chastised cheating men, pined for the commitment-phobic, offered to take back lovers, and generally behaved like a strong woman whose happiness is nevertheless dependent almost entirely on her romantic entanglements."[8] The album's lyrics received large amounts of praise with reviewers say Tweet has a way with words continuing to say "songs like “Beautiful” helped us understand how lyrics can move people."[7]

The album's third song "Smoking Cigarettes" is described as a "lush, laid back affair" which incorporates "bluesy 70's soul" and multi-layered vocals, built over a snare drum. Lyrically the song is based on the idea of cigarette smoking being used as a coping mechanism."[5] "Best Friend" featuring American performer Bilal, display's "lilting strings, exquisite vocals and heartbeat bass" noted for its use of "grassroots soul."[9] "Boogie 2 Nite", is a "feel-good" song that contains a repetitive "funky guitar riff" with lyrics discussing the "party vibe."[5] "Oops (Oh My)", is club classic, noted for its lyrical content which can be interpreted as discussing "female masturbation or a tribute to self-love." The song is built around a "superb groove" noted for its unmistakable Timbaland production. The song also contains "quick syncopated rhythms and Tweet's raspy vocals."[5] "Drunk" is an atmospheric song that continues to take influence from the idea of intoxicants, in the same vein as "Smoking Cigarettes." Lyrically the song sees Tween broken and alone with only the aid of alcohol for company.e[5]


"Oops (Oh My)" featuring American rapper Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, was released as the album's lead single in February 2002. Commercially the song was a success in which it received large airplay from U.S. and UK radios, helping it become a top ten hit in both regions.[10][11] The song also peaked at number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip Hop songs becoming Tweets highest charting single.[12]

"Call Me", was written by Missy Elliott and produced by Timbaland and released to urban radio outlets. As soon as the song began to pick up heavy airplay, it debuted on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at 67.[13] The song would later peak at number 9 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, making it Tweet's second top ten hit on that chart.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 73/100[15]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[16]
The A.V. Club A[8]
BBC Music favorable[5]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[17]
Dotmusic 7/10[9]
Entertainment Weekly C+[18]
NME 6/10[19]
PopMatters 7/10[20]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[21]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[22]

Southern Hummingbird received generally positive reviews from music critics, upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 73, based on reviews.[15] AllMusic gave the album a positive review, giving it four out of five stars. Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the album's musical direction and the album's production. However Erlewine felt that Tweet fading into the mix.[23] The A.V. Club gave the album an A, praising its lyrical content and Tweets "sultry" vocals, continuing to say "Tweet recognizes the value of subtlety and understatement, but she also skillfully writes and produces or co-produces much of her own material."[8] BBC Music gave "Southern Hummingbird" favorable reviews, calling the album "the stuff of real divas," the critics continued to say "Tweet's inherent melancholy further confirms the musical rite of passage in the tradition of other soul greats such as Aretha, Mary J Blige and Billie Holiday." [5]

Dotmusic commended Tweet's vocals saying she has the "kind of voice that doesn't overpower her music but lets it breathe."[9] Entertainment Weekly gave the album a mixed review noting that the album's production was a highlight which helped to showcase her "breathy coo", while praising the "well-crafted" the critics felt the album contained "too-similar ballads."[18] Imran Ahmed of the NME gave the album an average score of 6/10, Ahmed gave a positive reception towards the album's production and musical style saying the album is a "rarely thrilling collection of R&B" however he felt the album lacked front to back cohesiveness.[19] Rolling Stone felt that "Oops" and "Make Ur Move" were highlights of the album, noting them for making "this hummingbird [fly]."[21]

Chart performances[edit]

The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 195,000 copies in its first week.[1] Southern Hummingbird was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on April 30, 2002,[2] and has sold 858,000 units in the US as of March 2005.[3] The album also fared well in European territories peaking at number fifteen on the UK Albums Chart.[24]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "So Much to Say (Intro)" Charlene Keys, Nisan Stewart, Craig Brockman Stewart, Brockman 1:24
2. "My Place" Keys, Stewart, Brockman Stewart, Brockman 4:24
3. "Smoking Cigarettes" Keys, Stewart, Brockman Tweet, Stewart (add.), Brockman (add.) 4:16
4. "Best Friend" (featuring Bilal) Keys, Stewart, Brockman, Bilal Oliver Tweet, Stewart (add.), Brockman (add.) 5:08
5. "Always Will" Keys, Stewart, John Smith Jubu, Stewart 4:41
6. "Boogie 2nite" Keys, Stewart, Smith Jubu, Stewart 4:10
7. "Oops (Oh My)" (featuring Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott) Keys, Missy Elliott Timbaland 3:58
8. "Make Ur Move" Keys, Timothy Mosley Timbaland 3:49
9. "Motel" Keys, Susan Weems, Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers Tweet 3:48
10. "Beautiful" Keys, Brockman Brockman 4:05
11. "Complain" Keys, Stewart, Brockman, Weems Tweet, Stewart (add.), Brockman (add.) 5:14
12. "Heaven" Keys, Stewart, Brockman Tweet, Brockman (add.), Timbaland (add.) 3:39
13. "Call Me" Keys, Elliott Timbaland 2:56
14. "Drunk" Keys, Stewart, Brockman Tweet, Brockman (add.) 5:25
15. "Southern Hummingbird (Outro)" Keys, Brockman   1:31
16. "Sexual Healing (Oops Pt. 2)" (featuring Ms. Jade) Keys, Mosley, Chevon Young Timbaland 4:47
17. "Big Spender" (Bonus Track - performed by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott) Elliott, Troy Johnson Elliott, Johnson 3:12


Credits for Southern Hummingbird adapted from album liner notes.[26]



Country Provider Certification
United States RIAA Gold [2]

See also[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
United States[4] April 2, 2002 The Goldmind Inc., Elektra Records
Japan[25] April 10, 2002 Warner Music
Australia[37] May 13, 2002
United Kingdom[38] Elektra Records
Germany[39] May 27, 2002 Warner Music


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