A Nu Day is the second studio album by Canadian recording artist Tamia. It was released by Elektra Records on October 10, 2000, featuring Dallas Austin, Shep Crawford, Missy Elliott, and Jazz Nixon.
In 1994, Tamia signed her first recording deal with Warner Bros. Records and collaborated with veteran producer Quincy Jones on his album Q's Jook Joint (1995). Their output, the singles "You Put a Move on My Heart" and "Slow Jams", as well as "Missing You", a song Tamia recorded with Brandy, Gladys Knight, and Chaka Khan for the soundtrack of the 1996 motion picture Set It Off, each earned her nominations at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards. She later co-signed with Jones's Qwest Records label, a joint venture with Warner Bros., on which her self-titled debut album was released in 1998. Upon its release, Tamia received a mixed to positive reception by critics and garnered the singer two Juno Award nominations for Best New Solo Artist and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year at the 1999 award ceremony. In addition, it peaked at number sixty-seven on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 416,000 copies in the United States, and was eventually certified gold in Japan for 100,000 copies shipped to stores.
Frustrated by Qwest's label politics which prevented her form recording and releasing music in a shorter amount of time, Tamia transitioned to Elektra Records the following year, a decision she declared as "fairly easy" since Elektra was also owned by Warner. The company envisioned to establish her as their long-term urban signature act – similar to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, who enjoyed major commercial success with Virgin and Arista Records at that time. As a result, Elektra chairman/CEO Sylvia Rhone enlisted rapper-producer Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott to work Tamia on her second studio album.
In his review for Billboard, Michael Paoletta called A Nu Day "a stunning new set", which cemented her appeal as "one of tomorrow's divas". Satisfied with the songs, he wrote that "Tamia, all grown up on her latest set, is definitely ready to seize the day". Jose F. Promis from Allmusic rated the album three out of five stars. He declared the album "a nice pop-R&B record that doesn't set off to break much new ground [but] provides for a pleasurable and unchallenging listening experience." Q magazine remarked that A Nu Day was dominated by "sass over schmaltz [...] the Missy Elliot-enhanced take on Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That" [...] is a high spot [with] echoes of Jill Scott in some of other jazzier tracks."
Vincent Jackson, writing for NME, called the album a "dreary set" that "rarely lends itself to excitement and originality". He felt that A Nu Day is the kind of MOR musical traffic that only real hardcore R&B heads would want to get stuck in". Less impressed, Entertainment Weekly's Craig Seymour wrote that A Nu Day sees Tamia joining "the Toni Braxton school of hammy, self-conscious soul-singing that’s more about affectation than honest emotion". He added that "Elliott pitches in with staccato beats and street-savvy lyrics, but Tamia’s cloying wails lack edge and conviction. She turns even the most heartsick and angry sentiments into prettified pain". People found that with A Nu Day, Tamia "again struggles to distinguish herself as an artist in her own right". Critical with Elliott's productions, which the magazine considered "more Missy than Tamia", they praised the ballads on the album.
Promotional touring for A Nu Day began on September 5, 2000. Tamia visited retail, radio, press, and local video outlets in support of the album; she also performed at NetNoir's fifth anniversary celebration in New York City and at the Detroit Female Wellness Tour, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, Honey magazine, and BET Networks. In addition, Elektra set up a number of "Win it before you can buy it" contests with radio, as well as a "Call to win" contest with The Box television network. Elektra launched a website for the singer that featured new music and links to fan-related sites; e-cards featuring Tamia were also sent out to fans who registered with the Elektra database. Tamia also appeared on several television shows, including a performance on The WB sitcom For Your Love as well as Soul Train.
The album debuted and peaked at number 46 on the Billboard 200 album chart and spawned three singles; the debut single, "Can't Go For That," Tamia's highest charting single, "Stranger In My House," which reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Tell Me Who," which reached number two on the Billboard Dance chart. This is Tamia's most commercially successful album to date, selling over 665,000 copies in the United States.Notes and sample credits
^[A] denotes co-producer"Can't Go for That" contains a sample of "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" performed by Hall & Oates.
"Love Me in a Special Way" is a cover of DeBarge's same-titled song.
"Un'h...To You" contains a sample of "I Get Lifted" performed by George McCrae.
Technical and production