On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Aaliyah – More Than a Woman (2001)
” More Than a Woman” is a song performed by American singer Aaliyah. It was written by Static Major and Timbaland, who produced the song for her self-titled 2001 album. A pop, electro and hip hop song, it was one of three records Timbaland produced for Aaliyah and features digital strings, harsh-sounding synthetic bass, and guitar sounds.
We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, and having an overnight stay in New York so maybe the chance of a run in Central Park if we get time. Our guest today is Aaliyah who first gained recognition in 1989 when she was just ten years old. Mentored in her teens by R Kelly, there was early controversy with suggestions that the two had illegally married when Aaliyah was only 15. When we pick up her story in 2001 it is with the release of her self-titled third album and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, More Than a Woman.
More Than a Woman sees Aaliyah taking on a narrator who is revealing to their lover just how amazing and special they truly are. They sound to be very in love with this other person and promise them the world in exchange for their continued devotion. The title refers to Aaliyah’s insistence that there is more to her than being merely a woman and that with her this lucky individual will have experiences and share moments beyond their wildest dreams. It sounds like a relationship at the outset when passions are high and love burns very strongly.
I have heard of Aaliyah but was not familiar with her music prior to this challenge. More Than a Woman sounds like the sort of track that is empowering to women and demonstrates an artist full of confidence. Still only 22, Aaliyah seemed to have a prosperous career ahead of her. Sadly, in August 2001 she had completed filming a music video in the Bahamas when, shortly after take off, the plane crashed killing all nine passengers. More Than a Woman would climb to the top of the UK charts in the aftermath of Aaliyah’s tragic death.
Favourite songs so far: