Thursday, June 23, 2011

Album Reviews: Jill Scott and Jennifer Hudson

Jill Scott - The Light of the Sun (4/5) American singer Jill Scott is a pro at conveying genuine soul and emotion through her deep soulful and bluesy tones. Her fourth album The Light of the Sun demonstrates a warm hybrid of R&B, soul and jazz, of course with an obligatory '70s influenced touch, showcased none more so than on the laid back, grooving rhythms of "So In Love" featuring fellow American R&B singer Anthony Hamilton. The beat boxing beats of "All Cried Out Redux" work real nice against Scott's soulful vocal, which is further complimented when the jaunty piano keys kick in. Nothing on here jumps right at you, much like her acclaimed single "Hate On Me" from her last album, perhaps the lovably upbeat lead single "Shame" comes close. At times, the album does highlight the fine line between sensual and free-flowing and just plain bland, like with the colourless "Quick" and plodding "When I Wake Up." However, the album more than makes up for its duds and fillers, delivering a handful of highlights. Ultimately an warm and charming set of enticing soul music. Best: So In Love, Shame, Hear My Call, Making You Wait

Jennifer Hudson - I Remember Me (3/5) Maybe I just preferred the more pop influenced edge of her eponymous debut, but I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed with American R&B singer Jennifer Hudson's second album. It sure does have its belters, particularly the heavy piano chords and heavy beats assisted production on opening track "No One Gonna Love You," the dramatic balladry of lead single "Where You At" and the more accessible pop of "Gone." However the rest of the material feels rather weak. The ballads ("I Remember Me," "Still Here" and "Believe") are decent but not as great as the ones on the last album, although I do appreciate the emotion, sensitivity and back story to "Believe." And then there is the more faux indulgence in upbeat '70s soul ("Everybody Needs Love") which doesn't seem that authentic. Not a completely dud, but not one I'd wholeheartedly recommend either. Best: No One Gonna Love You, Where You At, Gone, Believe


ww_adh said...

Do you think I'd like Jill Scott? She's someone I hear about but know very little, except for "Hate on Me."

J.Mensah said...

I'm not sure, I'd say not that much. You'd probably use the word 'plodding' to describe a lot to describe most of her songs.