May 052011

Growing up, I was a huge huge fan of ‘90s R&B princess Aaliyah. I saw Romeo Must Die; I learned the choreography to “Rock the Boat”; I sang her song “I Miss You” in the shower every morning. While I don’t think anything can compare to the original version of her first massive hit “Are You That Somebody?”, pop-violist Anni Rossi‘s version is a refreshing take on the difficult task of finding a lover. It proves a worthy successor to her previous R&B-gal cover of Rihanna’s “Rude Boy.”

While the original version of “Are You That Somebody?” was understated-but-danceable in a way that was Aaliyah’s (and producer Timbaland’s) signature, Rossi’s version lets her more delicate style shine through her. She plucks her viola like a guitar (electric pickups, shoulder strap, and all) and lends an almost whimsical color to the words, “Sometimes I’m goody goody, right now I’m naughty naughty.” It’s a fun, upbeat track, and a welcome trip back to the more innocent times when all Aaliyah wanted was someone to want to be with her.

MP3: Anni Rossi – Are You That Somebody? (Aaliyah cover)

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Check out more about Anni Rossi at Myspace.

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