Saturday, June 18, 2011
Jill Scott - "The Light of The Sun" - AP Album Review -
Jill Scott - Mother, Sister and Lover
Jill Scott's latest album "The Light of the Sun" is a hybrid of soul, funk, hip hop, jazz, and spoken word that celebrates love, life and the struggle of it all. So often, artists seem to write in the macrocosm painting overly broad pictures in an attempt to strike a universal chord. Jill Scott does the opposite (with better effect) singing in an extremely personal way about her own truths and relationships of all sorts. The lyrical content on the album feels real and intimate like she is expounding her personal feelings to you over the backyard fence or in the corner of a noisy party. The first track Blessed with it's Mercy, Mercy Me like submarine drum beat wraps a comfortable retro soul vibe around your shoulders in an instant as Jill reminds us how blessed we all are "my grandma almost lived to see 92 - I'm so blessed... my son was born healthy and beautiful- I'm so blessed". She shares So in Love with Anthony Hamilton, a soulful 70-ish party song that has a stripped down fade out that is to die for. Shame with Eve again evokes a technicolor 70's TV show full of female swagger "I can stand on my own- I'm magnificent. I'm a queen on the throne - I'm magnificent.
Much of this album approaches it's many musical genres with a full on jazz attitude not afraid to make sudden right turns or U turns at a moments notice. In Cried Out (Redux) Doug E. Fresh provides the beatbox for Jill's amazing vocals that are is at once soul and pure jazz. In an instant the song slaps you in the face with a ragtime piano and 40's flow as you realize that the beat box was simulating tap dance phrasings all along. Jill Scott certainly has full control of her magnificent pipes and can be mother, sister, and lover. Hear My Call (God, hear my call) asks for his help over stirring violins and piano. Until Then (I Imagine) is as sexy as hell and could put Viagra and Cialis out of business. Some Other Time has a alternative trippy vibe ala Santo Gold and is full of Jill's thought bubbles about last night's date or chance meeting with an interesting man. Making you - glides with the stride of a powerful woman and many artists would of taken this powerful groove and turned it large with heavy drums and instrumentation midstream but, no, this production is self assured enough to not do so. It is clear that this entire album is forged in this self assured way. In Womanifesto, Jill Scott goes back to her roots as a spoken word artist and over a day dreamy hum she starts- "Clearly, I am not a fat ass. I am active brain and lip smacking peach deep. Sometimes too aggressive in it's honesty and heart sweet that loves wholly and completely whom it may choose. Whomever it may choose." The piece becomes more personal from there and is as strong and complex as "The Light of the Sun".