Not to relive the American Idol Series finale, but among new singles trapped in an overstuffed two-hour concert was Fantasia’s new single, “Ugly.” Yes, “Ugly” had to compete with a catchier, if ‘soon-to-be-forgotten’ new single from Jennifer Lopez (“Ain’t Your Mama”) among others, but arguably, “Ugly” might be worth a second look, even if it seemed ‘odd’ in the context of the show. In other words, give Fantasia’s latest a chance.
Is “Ugly” the second coming? Nope. BUT, what is respectable about this song is that there’s more of a pop and singer/songwriter vibe, something that we haven’t necessarily heard from Fantasia throughout her underrated career. This is not that catchy radio song that’s going to necessarily make Fantasia a pop star – she’s clearly an R&B gal – but this is a pop-oriented R&B song that has the right formula to get pop airplay. Confused yet?
Now to address the elephant in the room – will “Ugly” breakthrough? Probably not, but the potential is there because it’s a different look/sound for Fantasia. She’s still soulful, but the poise and restraint are a nice contrast. Furthermore, the fact she finally reaches a fever pitch is just a further testament to the ‘gifts’ given by this unlikely candidate. It won’t be for everybody, but give it a few spins – there’s something here.
Fantasia • Ugly – Single • RCA • Release Date: 4.7.16