Jill Scott is a rare artist within the entertainment industry. She’s a Grammy winning singer, songwriter, actress, and poet. Jill has been performing alongside music greats before branching out on her own and has since established herself as a legend in her own rite. Her fourth studio album, “The Light of the Sun”, is a representation of Jill being completely in charge of her career and life, as well as a depiction of the problems she has faced and overcome. In my true opinion, this new album is somewhat of a departure from the old self and finding a new. And with a thorough evaluation of each track I hope to clearly explain the story being told.
“Blessed” reminds us to be appreciative of the important things in life: family, friends, and love. You can always find positive ora within Scott’s music and this opening track features all the elements she’s known for, which includes thought provoking lyrics, soulful melodies, and melting vocals. Her songs provide a soundtrack to life and give lessons on how to enjoy the simple things to the fullest.
Anthony Hamilton appears on “So in Love” adding a sensual male voice to an already intensely passionate song. I love a good duet; especially one like this between a man and a woman trying their best to convey their emotions to each other. Now and then we find ourselves in relationships where we’re madly in love with each other and want to show that affection in every way possible.
Where the previous track is about being in a relationship, the next is clearly about not accepting the truth that you like the person and refusing to give in to your feelings. “Shame” tells the tale of a woman being everything the man ever dreamed of but he’s apparently not able to see that. I love the 90’s influenced music and flowing harmonies in this song, not to mention the smooth and swaggerific rapper Eve adding edge and charisma. This track is something I can relate to a lot.
There’s nothing like some old school flavor fused into a modern day song. “All Cried out Redux” features the flow-etic rap star Doug E. Fresh and his mind blowing beatboxing skills. This track features no live instruments other than that of Fresh’s talents. Jill has been hurt and is now releasing her sorrows with each note. This woman has the ability to draw her audience into any song and let them feel what she’s feeling. It’s almost like you’re standing in her shows and experiencing the pain she’s going through.
“Le Boom Vent Suite” is about a man not wanting the woman to leave after all the pain and heartache he has caused her. It’s a tale of “you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone”, and this track teaches it well. The repetitive hook is catchy and captivating. I like the backing base that places emphases on the key feature of the song, which is the line “boom, boom, boom…” This is the song to play while lounging in the den under some dark or dimmed lights. The next track, “So Gone (What my mind says)”, carries on her decision to leave, but contradicts her heart that wants to stay. She’s left in confusion and without understanding because her heart refuses to obey her mind. Love usually takes over and puts us into a state we often times cannot control. It’s not always the right thing to stay because the relationship is unhealthy, but more often we end up doing so. I love how laid back this track is, filled with an r&b vibe; One of my favorites on the album.
Jill had me floating in the clouds with “Hear My Call”. This song is one of the more soulful ballads on the album and features the artist crying out for love and support from a higher power. She has been through so much in life and is now in need of strength to continue on. It’s a track that touches the core and fills us up so much emotion. It entraps you within each line and you can’t help but close your eyes and allow the song to take over. Long has it been since I’ve had such a feeling while listening to a song.
“Some Other Time” takes us to the raw poetic side of the singer. She’s starting over and finding a new love. Almost as if she’s breathing a breath of fresh air. Jill talks about being on a date and enjoying herself, as well as the new feeling of love that she’s developing. It’s a very soothing song that fits a warm summer day on the porch. I like the acoustic setting and light tempo drums resounding throughout the track, providing a beautiful background for her flowing lyrics. “Quick” however, falls right back into the sad category. It amazes Jill how fast the relationship has ended and now she’s missing the guy. She had hoped it would last longer and become more meaningful to both but unfortunately it just didn’t work out. The drums are a little more up-tempo than the previous and her breathy vocals intensify as the song goes on.
“Making You Wait” is another track that draws inspiration from 90’s r&b music. The song is about not rushing into a relationship with someone and waiting to see if they are deserving of your time and effort. Jill is letting the guy wait on her love to possibly see if there’ll be something worth getting into. This song is a reminder that love takes time. However, the next track is about getting tired of waiting and now she’s ready to make a move. “Until Then (I Imagine)” takes us into the imagination of Jill. She’s fantasizing about the guy being with her at that very moment and giving him all her love and devotion. I like the backing vocals in the song; the harmonies add so much swag, and Jill’s addlibs are soft and sweetly organized.
“Missing you” is a cry for passion. The artist is feeling lonely and at home missing everything about the guy: his touch, smile, eyes, mouth, body, etc. The male vocalist in the background provides sounds so sensual and provocative, which is very much in line and living up to the point of this song: physical and emotional longing. The slow tempo beat is just as sexy as her singing.
Sometimes we tell ourselves that everything will be better when we wake up in the morning, and Jill is telling us in “When I Wake Up” that things will be better if we allow it to. The track is about not letting your problems bring you down and facing the day head on. Nothing will change if we mope around and drown ourselves in sorrow; if we try our hardest to move on and start a new, then everything will work out.
“Womanifesto” is pure poetry (literally). In this track, Jill gives us her perspective on the womanhood. She speaks on the mentality that people have of her, as well as how she sees herself. She makes it clear what she’s not and who she truly is, a woman, and more importantly, a human being. I like this number and whenever I listen I feel like I’m in at Jill Scott’s dub poetry live. There aren’t any instruments except the artist’s spoken words, but that’s more than enough.
Scott concludes with a song about overcoming. “Rolling Hills” is “the light of the sun”, the song that lets us know we won’t always be in darkness. It’s the sweet juice you pour down your throat after tasting the bitterness of life. I love the message in this song and how easy it is to decipher. The track is slow paced but this album is not a mix for the club.
“The Light of the Sun” is a great comeback record by Jill Scott and you can immediately tell how hard she’s worked in writing and putting her true self within each song. In my opinion, being a poet makes her so much more of a creative artist who’s enabled to make her music so soothing and meaningful. I give this album a rating of 4.8/5
Track listing:01. Blessed 02. So In Love (ft. Anthony Hamilton) 03. Shame (ft. Eve & The A Group) 04. All Cried Out Redux (ft. Doug E. Fresh) 05. Le Boom Vent Suite 06. So Gone (What My Mind Says) [ft. Paul Wall] 07. Hear My Call 08. Some Other Time 09. Quick 10. Making You Wait 11. Until Then (I Imagine) 12. Missing You 13. When I Wake Up 14. Womanifesto 15. Rolling Hills
(Images courtesy of amazon)
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