Shortcuts—Lumidee’s Unexpected

By Emale Gray

What do the creators of the “Macarena,” “Who Let the Dogs Out?,” and “Ice Ice Baby” have in common? Besides still claiming royalties from the aforementioned songs, you can probably find these one-hit failures flipping burgers at the local Burger King, earning a dollar more than the average grad student in the same circumstances. One would think that the same fate would befall “Uh Oooh” girl Lumidee; however, she is back with an unexpected treat.

Whereas her debut album Almost Famous left her unknown, Unexpected creates a mansion for her in the middle of Mainstream Music Boulevard, specially designed by Scott Storch, Wyclef Jean, and Red Spyda. Pitbull, Shaggy, Snoop Dogg, and Jim Jones make brief visits.

Listening to her single and cover of the Patrick Swayze hit “She’s Like the Wind,” you wouldn’t even know Lumidee had returned, as three-fourths of the track is performed by the featured artist, Tony Sunshine, unless you count Lumidee’s grunts in the background. And even when our star does finally make her presence known on this track, she is rapping—unfamiliar turf for fans who have grown accustomed to the way she drags out the end of a musical phrase. Yet this song is only the first unexpected renovation in a series of many.

After one full listen to Unexpected, Lumidee has made one thing more than clear. She is no longer a one-hit wonder. “You Got Me” features Lumidee’s vocals floating in the sky with mellow sirens and excited strings soaring beneath. The once-chilling whistle of Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill is now the foundation for Wyclef Jean’s festive guest suite in “I Like It: The Whistle Song.” In her forthcoming single “I’m Up,” Lumidee stops the show better than all five of the members of Danity Kane combined, and the same comforting reggae groove from “Uh Oh” comes full circle in “Cute Boy.”

Uh oh! If you thought Lumidee was only a one-hit wonder, expect the unexpected from this point forward.