Jill Scott – The Light Of The Sun | Album Review

Beginning her career as a spoken word artist, perhaps it comes as no surprise that Jill Scott’s lyrics are a lot deeper and more beautifully constructed than the average R&B stars. Following up 2007’s Grammy nominated, Gold certified album The Real Thing she returns with her fourth studio album, the first under Blues Babe Records and Warner Bros. Records.

Producer and album collaborator JR Hutson recently remarked on Scott’s approach to The Light Of The Sun, suggesting that her goal is mainly to “give people a very realistic glimpse of where she is in her life right now.” This would indeed make sense, considering the great changes she’s been going through; breaking up with her then-drummer, the birth of her first child and her success in Hollywood.

To this respect, the album feels proudly feminine, exemplified in a spoken word piece ‘Womanifesto.’ Although this is nothing new, Ms. Scott appears to have grown into her own, confidently comfortable in the woman she has become. Most of the albums tracks, the likes of ‘So Gone (What my mind says),’ and ‘When I Wake Up’ exhibit her personal and physical maturity, inviting the listener into her subconscious, to realms we have all identified with at one point or another. “But when I wake up, everything I went through will be beautiful,” she croons; reassuring us that everything is temporary; positivity and hopefulness transcending through the speakers.

Grown and sexy is definitely a phrase that can be applied to this album; ‘Until Then (I Imagine)’ a perfect example of this, Jill Scott’s sensual voice incorporated with suggestive lyrics and a backing track that will have you feeling yourself, and could even put Viagra out of business.

The album recalls of a time where tempo’s were slower, and patience was longer. Where we didn’t need instant gratification, but could instead listen to a beautiful voice, strumming beautiful words, without an impatience for the final message. This may be why at times the album received less than exemplary reviews, with some critics claiming it to be “positively lackluster.”

There are indeed some parts that may feel that way. With an improvisation feel to quite a few of the songs, her adlibs as well as leaving the track recording while her and Doug E. Fresh laugh and chop it up, you get the impression that Jill was just chilling in the studio. At times this works in her favour; in particular with the song ‘Quick’, which has a playful feel to it. Bouncy and, as the name suggests, quick, the only criticism is that at one minute forty nine seconds, its far too short for what appears to be one of the only upbeat tracks on the album.

As Bob Dylan once said, “behind every beautiful thing is some kind of pain,” – that, in my opinion is the perfect summary of this album. Borne of a very bad couple of years in Ms. Scott’s personal life, The Light Of The Sun makes beautiful, and relatable, the ups and downs of every day life.

Jill Scott – The Light Of The Sun
Released: June 21, 2011
Label: Blues Babe Records & Warner Bros. Records.
Buy: iTunes US / iTunes UK

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