Jill Scott is an artist that can virtually do no wrong. She could sing her ABC’s and mesmerize a crowd. Having seen her in concert twice, I believe she is one of the greatest R & B voices of this generation. Her voice is like liquid crack….but I digress, lol. It’s no surprise that her latest CD, The Light of the Sun, is a deeper, sexier, and at times more sporadic collection of music in comparison to some of her earlier work (possibly due to the birth of her son). Nevertheless, it sits comfortably with the 3 studio CDs she has already released. The Light of the Sun finds Jill Scott adding a larger presence of her spoken word and a lesser presence of her belting out powerful notes (take a listen to the boastful “Womanifesto” and the infectious tale of a short-lived relationship, “Quick.”).
This CD also finds Jill Scott chartering somewhat unfamiliar territory. Minus the “Collaborations” CD, her music hardly has featured guests. Eve, Anthony Hamilton, Doug E Fresh, and shockingly enough, Paul Wall all make appearances on “The Light of the Sun.” Eve joins in and adds more spice to an already sassy declaration of missing out on a good thing with “Shame.” Anthony Hamilton exchanges sweet nothings in his raspy tone on the feel good, addictive first single, “So In Love.” Doug E Fresh gives a bit of old school flavor, serving as the beat box background to Jill Scott’s clever twist to the classic “All Cried Out” on “All Cried Out Redux.” And last, but certainly not least is Paul Wall’s molasses flow that accompanies Jill Scott’s sultry, bedroom vocals on the track “So Gone (What My Mind Says).” This is easily the most attention grabbing song on the CD with lines like “..Got that thickness/The kind that make you get up making biscuits/With breakfast/So gone.” Although this track may surprise some fans, I think many will find it a favorite on the CD.
Underneath the tough “womanifesto” exterior, there is a vulnerable being inside Jill Scott. “Hear My Call” is a painfully honest, gospel tinged, simple ballad (and simple in the form of production only, NOT vocally) that begs “God, please hear my call/I am afraid for me.” Even though we’ve all heard Jill Scott sing of love, loss and reflection before, there is a chilling, eerie feeling that resonates through the speakers and captures your attention on this song. Conversely, Jill Scott turns up the seductive heat on the teaser ballad, “Making You Wait.” The song is a bit of an oxymoron, with its inviting, slumping bass line that sends you home with a kiss on the cheek lyrically, all in one swoop. By the time Jill Scott gets to “Until Then (I Imagine),” which is the very next track, she’s definitely not waiting on anything but the next time to get to see her lover. One of the most explicit tracks on the CD, it must be one of her favorites as she even says “that….is nice” towards the end.
For those that don’t know, this is Jill Scott’s first release not under the Hidden Beach moniker. Unlike so many other artists of today’s time, this has no effect on her music. It’s still potent, sexy, inspirational, and thought-provoking. You can definitely hear the growth here since her last CD (The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Volume 3) as you may feel like you’re at an intimate House of Blues poetry jam rather than listening to a stellar collection of R & B tracks. Nevertheless, Jill Scott lives up to expectations here and in many ways, exceeds them. If you’re looking for real music, this is the CD to get.