Tweet Leaves Her 'Dark Place,' Lightens Up On New Album

It's Me Again pairs personal lyrics with a warmer, more classic sound.

Tweet isn't afraid to get personal in her lyrics, but the woman you thought you knew from Southern Hummingbird may not be the same one you hear on her new LP, It's Me Again. In the three years since her debut, the singer has crafted an album that reflects her maturation and a decidedly warmer outlook.

"The idea is still the pages in my diary, and just to let my fans know I'm not in that dark place anymore. I'm a happier Tweet," she said. "My life experiences have changed me. I embrace the change and allow them to be experiences that don't keep me stuck in one position or in one place."

What fans will find on her album is a lot of love talk, though mostly about past relationships. As for her own romantic situation, Tweet declared that she is happily single. "I don't need anybody else to validate me or to complete me," she said. "I'm on the hunt for a man that believes in monogamy, somebody that can be committed, God-fearing and just be able to love me for me." Working out the depression of her last relationship resulted in the song "I'm Done."

A song called "The Two of Us" holds a different kind of love connection for Tweet. A duet with her teenage daughter Tashana, the track focuses on their mother-daughter relationship. "She deals with me not being there and handles it like a champ," Tweet said. "Just to see her [in the studio], I think I cried the entire time because I can remember her being a baby. It feels good for me to share this experience with her. I have a beautiful daughter, and I want the world to know that." Though her daughter (a Mario, Bow Wow and Omarion fan) may want to get in the music business, her mother says she is keeping Tashana away from the industry until she's older.

For Tweet, writing is a form of therapy, whether she is doing it on the train or in the bathtub. She is inspired by listening to the music of Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder as well as Van Hunt, John Mayer, Maroon 5 and of course, Missy Elliott. Missy lent her hand to nine of It's Me Again's 15 tracks. "She is totally involved," Tweet said. "We both feel there is a void in the music business now where the soul is missing. We wanted to get this old classic sound back, and she came up with the idea of the old vinyl records."

"Turn Da Lights Off," the first single from the follow-up, was written by Elliott and produced by Kwame (see "Tweet's Forthcoming LP: A Self-Help Guide To Romance, With Beats"). Tweet thinks the song serves as a good reintroduction for fans and a more accurate representation of her music. "A lot of people thought I was a hip-hop artist from 'Oops' and 'Call Me,' but this is a great opening of a new chapter in my life." When it came time to do the video, she wanted something atypical with strong but beautiful imagery. Tweet specified that the video, which has a glamorous vibe á la Diana Ross in "Mahogany," should be free of "half-naked women or drink bottles."

Although she had no hand in 50 Cent's remix of "Turn Off Da Lights" (see "50's Next Date: Jennifer Aniston, Tyra Banks, Paris Hilton?"), Tweet loved the outcome and would love to do a video for it.

Up for consideration for the second single off her album is "My Man," "Sports, Sex and Food" and "Cab Ride," which includes the theme music from the classic television series "Taxi." Tweet got clearance from the creator to use it on the ballad, and according to the singer, that is the first time anyone has been given that permission.

And speaking of TV theme songs, Tweet has already shot a video for "When I Need a Man," the theme for the USA Network's "Kojak." The series, starring Ving Rhames, starts Friday, and Tweet hopes that the song will make fans think, " 'Who loves you baby?' every time you hear my voice!"