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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Light Of The Sun
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Since releasing 2007s "The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3", Jill Scott has become a mother, lost a lot of weight, and also fought a bitter battle to get released from her record contract with Hidden Beach.

"The Light Of The Sun" is her debut on Warner Brothers Records and it's a free and easy jam session-style affair. "Blessings" opens the album with Scott telling us in song and spoken word of all she's thankful for: her son, her grandmother who almost lived to see 92, even her son's father. The song sounds like it fell off of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" album, absolutely beautiful!

The CD is frontloaded with the most upbeat songs. "So In Love" features Anthony Hamilton and is a bouncy summery almost Disco affair. "Shame" is retro Funk with interesting drum patterns and horns and reminds me of "Gimme" from her live CD. It features Eve & the A Group.

The playful "All Cried Out Redux" finds Scott singing to Doug E. Fresh's beatbox effects before the entrance of some Dixieland sounds. "Le BOOM Vent Suite" is a 9 minute piece with the first three and a half minutes sunny and upbeat before segueing into a slower groovy ballad second half.

From here out, the pace slows down "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" is a steamy ballad featuring rapper Paul Wall. "Hear My Call" is a spare piano/string affair. "Some Other Time" is groovy with skittery beats and spoken word. "Quick" is Jazzy with big bass and light percussion.

"Making You Wait" finds her telling her man she is making him wait five dates to find out if he's true. "Until Then (I Imagine)" features sprinklings of piano, "Missing You" is a dreamy ballad with soft guitar sounds, "When I Wake Up" continues that Gaye vibe. "Womanifesto" is spoken word set to an a capella backdrop. Closing is the Jazzy "Rolling Hills".

Scott's 2011 tour is titled "Jill Scott's Summer Block Party Tour". This should be the perfect soundtrack.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I wouldn't call this the same Jill that I've heard 10 years ago as a teen, but that's okay. I feel what Jill is trying to go for in all of these songs. Some of them, I don't agree with, like "So Gone" with Paul Wall, but I think I get what she was going for. That misstep aside, when Jill lays it down, she does it big, as displayed even on the opener, "Blessed." It's every person's morning "uplifter" if you need it, and it doesn't really tone all that down until the second movement of "BOOM."

Special kudos to her for going upbeat or in jam vein on a good number of these tracks. You can tell that she really enjoyed the recording process this time around (some ad libs are left in, especially on the title track), even if not all the tracks sit well with everyone.

My personal favorite, well I have a special place in my heart for longer than normal songs that have movements (in the vein of "Love Rain (Suite)" which clocked in at 12:30 WAY back in '01 on the live album), so the "Le BOOM Vent Suite" takes me every single time. Then get past "So Gone," and you have a wonderful ballad in "Hear My Call," which is going to be blessing my ears as much as "BOOM" soon. Oh, and perfect sequencing in placing this heavenly song after what I called the "misstep," it makes the album rebound so greatly in my eyes.

This is a cool record. It's a cool Jill Scott, and I think she's earned the new feel, if you will, she shows on this album. It'll take a few more listens for me to get a song, or decide I don't like it. But the fact that I want to try to is worth it.

P.S. I bought the iTunes Deluxe version, and the last track, "I Love You," is BANGING, by the way. I wish she included it on the regular version instead of So Gone or Missing You.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I'm a bit torn on this record. I LOVE some of the songs, the ones that have the deep meaningful lyrics backed up by her powerful voice. But other songs disappoint, the ones that have some cheesy rapper making the song sound cheap and over-produced.

Why do some R&B/Soul singers feel the need to incorporate the increasingly meaningless genre of rap into their music (don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of hip-hop and rap but I do feel it is to the point where style greatly overshadows substance). Paul Wall sounds the same no matter if he is talking about love or how to cook a grilled cheese sandwich. I feel like Eve is also a one-trick pony when it comes to her rap game. I would gather that most of her listeners are mature and don't fall into the over-extended hype of names like that. She is so unbelievably versatile and I simply wish she would have done without them.

The one collaboration that I do love is with Anthony Hamilton (although he is not one of my favorites), the song is uplifting and makes you want to celebrate your loved one. Overall, I love Jill's music and will always be a fan. She is a rarity in music today -- she can completely envelop you with a story that takes over your imagination and you get lost in emotion (like Hear My Call).

One of my favorite lines so far after a few days of listening:

"Clearly, I am not a fat @[]...I am active brain!" LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Either way it goes, I'm grateful she came out with another CD. Thank you, Jill!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
I like the title of this album: The Light of the Sun. I think I understand why she gave this album such a title. This album has a positive mood. Sure, there are some more serious tracks here, but this time around the upbeat songs outshone her ballads. The faster songs are what stand out on "The Light of the Sun." Take "So in Love" for instance. When one listens to "So in Love", he or she can't help but feel great! It is such a summer/feel good track. I am glad Anthony Hamilton contributed his talent because they are dynamic together.

Admittedly, this is not her finest work, but it will hold its own in her musical catalog anyway. "When I Wake Up" is a nice ballad. It's a real neo-soul track with good lyrics. She sounds good, too. "Blessed" is easily one of this album's finest moments. She is telling her listener how blessed she is to have such a beautiful son and great life overall. The missteps here are "Quick", "All Cried Out" and "Shame." I do like when artists step outside of their box, but it doesn't always work for them. Each of these tracks are a new type of Jill Scott, but she missed her mark in her attempt to be different.

With this product, I am overall satisfied. I still feel that Jill Scott is one of the best talents to come out in recent years and I want her to create music for a long time!

Mikeisha's Top 5

1. "Blessed"
2. "So in Love"
3. "Hear My Call"
4. "Make You Wait"
5. "Rolling Hills"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This CD is so bright and twinkly, has a vibe all it's own and cut after cut gets better and better as it progresses. One grievance I have is that the title cut is omitted from the album yet included on the I-Tunes bonus cuts download options.

A revelatory item to note is that there is NOT a hint of Autotune on the ENTIRE CD which makes it THAT MUCH MORE satisfying an R&B experience. Also, "Hear My Call" could, if it's marketed correctly, see the #1 R&B-charting fate of Yolanda Adams' "Open My Heart" from 1999, where it's so personal and affecting in both lyric and in melody and could have such massive appeal by being able to cross between Gospel and R&B simultaneously. "Shame" as well as "So in Love" are very different for Scott. The former is in the same vein as "Hate on Me" from "The Real Thing" in all it's horn-embellished, amped-up instrumentation as well as background call-back singing courtesy of the funky "A" Group, while the latter rings in as a little "Disco" nugget a la Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway from their duet album from 1979 on Atlantic. It's very Al Green-sounding.

Cut for cut, this is a record that will greatly impact and affect the tide of R&B music lovers who are BEYOND tired of Autotune and the less than par vocalizing of of Rhianna, Ciara and the droves of other wannabe's who bring absolutely NOTHING to music except for a talentless "look." For those who ARE and who HAVE BEEN starving for something that actually FITS the R&B form, be it an Old School groove with a new school vibe; even a poetic recitation set to music, Jill Scott deservedly basks in the light of the sun that's been a long time coming! It's an absolute masterpiece that's certainly worthy of being another RIAA gold-certified album! Shine on, U krazy diamond! Love your music, Jill! <3
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Jill Scott gets personal on her fourth LP (excluding Experience: Jill Scott 826+ and Jill Scott Collaborations), The Light Of The Sun. A four-year hiatus separates Scott's Grammy nominated 2007 The Real Thing: Words and Sounds, Vol. 3 and 2011's Light. Besides the drama that `fuels the fire' on The Light of the Sun (a relationship gone awry, the birth of Jill's first child, etc.), Jill signs with major label Warner Bros. and departs from Hidden Beach Recording's for the first time in her career. Oft times a switch to a major label changes the sound and scope of the artist's respective album, usually for the worst. The opposite is true here - while Scott's fourth album has a completely different sound than previous efforts, it is a nice departure and the core of `Jill Scott' as an artist is more than retained. On deck to give Scott her first number one effort and third top five affair, The Light of the Sun proves to be one of 2011's best R&B albums - wait scratch that - one of the best albums of 2011, period.

"Blessed," sort of an extended introduction opens the effort solidly, foreshadowing the scope of the album's themes. "Blessed" is a sound preview, preceding valedictory promo single, "So In Love," which features neo-soul standout Anthony Hamilton. A subtle cut from a cursory listen, "So In Love" will entice many-a classic R&B sensible listener. With a great 70's soul sound, the cut suits both it's performers and helps to get The Light of the Sun off to a fast start. "Shame," featuring rapper Eve and a group of backing vocalists entitled `The A Group' is a superb cut, finding Jill singing atop old-school hip-hop oriented production. The cut smartly samples "I'm the Magnificent (Remix)" as performed by Special Ed. Speaking of magnificent, Jill reminds the audience that she is `the magnificent' while Eve (where is she?!?!) lays down a terrific rap verse. "All Cried Out Redux," featuring Doug E. Fresh, keeps the momentum strolling with superb beat-boxing. Different from anything Jill has done, it works well and showcases Scott's consummate jazz chops.

"Le BOOM Vent Suite" may be lengthy (at over nine minutes in duration), but it is a brilliant, smartly conceived listen. The production work is great, Jill sound's inspired, and the transition and change of vibe at around the 3:30 is smooth. "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" is a syrupy, smooth, sensual cut detailing Scott's `physical' over `mental' approach to her relationship that yielded her first child: "Why does my body ignore what my mind says/I try to keep it intact but I'm here in this bed." The production is smarty conceived, featuring an assortment of different timbres (guitar, synthetic pads). Paul Wall's guest verse isn't necessary and never eclipses Jill's introspective, reflective vibe. The spiritual, reflective "Hear My Call" is a show-stopping moment, finding Scott pining to God for mercy, help, and forgiveness: "God please hear my call, I am afraid for me, love has burned me raw, I need your healing, please..." The production is subdued, beautiful and emotional, contributing to the `back to basics' vibe Scott is trying to convey after her relationship gone awry.

"Some Other Time" contrasts the slowness of "Hear My Call" with a faster tempo. More of an interlude, "Some Other Time" details the cautious judgement Scott must show in a new relationship after being "burned raw by love..." "Quick" may be under two minutes, but it is one of the strongest cuts from The Light of the Song. Featuring the outstanding experimental production work of urban producer Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell (Mary Mary, Kelly Price), "Quick" explicitly details how `quick' the relationship escalated and led to a child and a breakup. If you ever wanted to label Scott as a jazz vocalist, "Quick" would be the most opportune showing.

"Making You Wait" features sensual, full bodied production work, contrasting the bare bones, schizophrenic production work of "Quick." Background vocals intact (performed by multiple people) and clever, poetic lyrics make "Making You Wait" a winner. True to its title, "Making You Wait" smartly makes the listener wait as Scott efficiently uses spacing and pauses throughout her lyrics, adding a whole extra dimension to her work. "Until Then (I Imagine)" is certainly one of the album's most sensual and beautiful moments, even leaving Scott impressed at the end as she comments "That $%^& is nice." Truthful, "Until Then" is as Al Green penned, "simply beautiful."

"Missing You" and "When I Wake Up" are solid (A- cuts), while penultimate spoken word cut "Womanifesto" is brilliant. The feistiness exhibited by Scott makes "Womanifesto" perfect. Closing cut "Rolling Hills" ends The Light of the Sun exceptionally. The jazz-laden nature of the cut is perfect for such a refined, esteemed vocalist as Scott.

Overall, The Light Of The Sun is a pleasant surprise. Sure, every Jill Scott album is unique and well put together, but The Light of the Sun is particularly special, given its autobiographical lyrics and Scott's particularly focused vocal performances. The Light of the Sun certainly should yield Scott yet another Grammy nomination if not a win.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Been a true fan of Jill Scott since 2000 and she never dissapoints. You can tell she went in a slightly different direction with her sound then when she was with Hidden Beach but it still works!! Keep it coming Jill!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
What a perfect album for the first day of summer! Strange as it may seem this marks the very first time I actually purchased a Jill Scott album. It's been a decade since she dropped her Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1 which sent everyone all a buzz. I've heard snippets of her other albums. But as it turns out she's been around long enough to make a comeback. So I decided to get into her through that manner. And it's not just a return for Jill but also for a genre in a very bipolar state of existance at the moment. Obviously the whole neo/nu soul retro movement is showing signs of dum drum existance to some degree. And all the hip-hop/soul hybrids around are really showing heavy ware. So a decade ago Jill got the ball rolling with her unique sound with that Gil Scott Heron,Nina Simone,Donny Hathaway ragu thing of hers that all combines into the most individual sound among female R&B artists in this day and age. The music sounds sunny. Not in the stereotypical happy-go-lucky way but more how it shines at different levels of brightness throughout the day. The sun has moods and so does this album. And as always she's never afraid to take a long time between albums and allow her different side pursuits to influence her in keeping her music fresh and exciting.

And exciting this album is at that! What Jill does here is look for the spaces in between funk,hip-hop and jazz to see where new possibilities of music could come out of. She explores two possible new directions for the funk genre alone in the modern day JB sendup of "Shame" and "So In Love" with Anthony Hamilton,a slickly percussive modern day variant of the mid/late 70's sophistifunk that pretty much stands in contrast. The jazzy/reggae guitar hybrid groove of "Some Other Time" finds Jill struggling with her inner monologue via multi tracked vocals about weather the man she's dating is as right for her as he seems. Considering how hard society has been on women the last couple of decades it's very appropriate. The spaces between hip-hop and funk she finds via Doug E Fresh's beat box vocalese backing up Jill almost acapella on "All Cried Out Redux". She explores here jazzier/funk/Roy Ayers vibe heavier on the "Le BOOM Vent Suite",swinging fro shuffling modern jazz-funk into something far more avante garde jazz and comes back around to that same style by albums send with "Rolling Hills". The tune "Quick",accompanied by mainly percussion finds more of a spoken word style dialog on modern sexuality. Ditto for "Womanifesto" does the same thing,only backed by her vocalese and a far more frank lyrical content.

"Missing You" is a great Innervisions-period type of jazzy soul/R&B midtempo ballad with a certain hot,dry atmosphere. "Hear My Call"-the other major ballad here is a modern standard waiting to happen with it's theatrical piano chords and orchestrations. "When I Wake Up","Until Then I Imagine and "Making Me Wait" continue the albums themes on modern femeninity,which is always expressed with intelligence and honesty rather than in-your-face,crass arrogence. They all possess a midtempo jazzy soul flavor too. "So Gone (When My Heart Sings)" finishes off the affair with the same type of theme and a more modern rhythmic flavor. Overall she does an excellent job at maintaining her flavors while sometimes exploring how the modern R&B/funk ethic could do for HER sound,as opposed to the common method of artists totally surrendering to it. She of course comes at the same 70's style jazz/funk/soul vibe as any neo souler but doesn't tend to give into hip-hop clishes. Rather one will find here an album that has the penetrating mood "more of the teacher than the preacher" in a way-easy on th attitude and high on the brainpower. So overall this is a very welcomed and well rounded sendup of jazz,funk with a dash of hip-hop flavor done totally the way of the artist.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I have been a Jill Scott fan from the get go. I was repping this woman in the UK when most Brits had never heard of her. I ended up giving her first cd to friends and family as presents. I have never missed her concerts in the UK - NEVER. I look forward to throwing her cds in the player and leaving them on repeat all day, especially on those wet weekends when there is nothing else to do. So you can imagine my elation when I heard that she was coming out with a new CD.

However, having waited with bated breath and spent much of the weekend listening to it, it is with a heavy heart that I have to say that this cd is a huge disappointment. I know she has been through a lot and used this to express where she is. I don't expect her music to consistently remain the same. I have listened to Alicia Keys grow as an artist and her music has evolved and changed as she has matured into an amazing artist but although every album sounds different from the last, I always know that it is Alicia Keys. I'm sorry but i can't say the same for Jill Scott. Apart from 'So in Love' & 'Hear my call', every other track is a mish mash of watery ballads and nonsensical hip hop. This is dull and boring. Life is too short to wait for a song to grow on you. Previously, Jill Scott's music hit you with a bang. To say I am disappointed is an understatement.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge fan of Jill Scott since hearing Words & Sounds Vol.1 in 2001 and she never disappoints with her music. Her voice is phenominal and the lyrics are delightful. Nice variety of songs from hip-hop to poetry to blues to ballads. I just got the cd today from a local store & I have listened to it probably 10 times already today!
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