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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
2 amazon.com reviewers, "Tony_Tone" and "dOc" were shocked that I had never heard of Jill Scott and they instructed me to make sure that I go to the nearest music store to pick up her debut CD which was Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1. They both told me that I would like the CD and I wouldn't skip a track at all. I am glad that I followed their advice because Jill's debut was one of the best CDs that I had heard in a long time. My favorite tracks ended up being "Do You Remember", "Slowly Surely", "The Way", "A Long Walk" and "Love Rain". I was impressed with the way Jill mixed in her singing with spoken word tracks and I was also impressed by the production. 1 year later, in 2001, Jill releasedExperience: Jill Scott. "Experience" was a 2 CD set of songs. Disc 1 was a Live CD which featured 9 tracks that were on her debut CD and Disc 2 contained 6 unreleased studio tracks. The best of them being "Gotta Get Up" and "Sweet Justice". Jill released her 2nd studio album Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol. 2 in 2004. My favorite tracks ended up being "The Fact Is (I Need You)", "Spring Summer Feeling", "Cross My Mind", "Whatever", and "Family Reunion". "Beautifully Human" was a nice follow up to "Who Is Jill Scott?" but her 1st CD was better. Earlier this year, Jill Scott released Collaborations which contained tracks that Jill had with other artists such as Common, Lupe Fiasco, The Isley Brothers, Sergio Mendes, Kirk Franklin, and a track called "Slide" that was featured on Jeff Bradshaw's Bone Deep.

After a divorce and what many people will see as a new attitude, Jill Scott returns with "The Real Thing: Words & Sounds Volume 3". "Let It Be" gets things off to a nice start as Jill is simply stating it doesn't matter what kind of music that you want to perform, just make it's something that can be listened to for years to come and not something that is just here for the moment and gone tomorrow. "The Real Thing" and the 1st single, "Hate On Me" will be a change of pace for the majority of Jill Scott's fans. They won't be your favorite tracks on this CD but to me they are still worth checking out. "Come See Me" is Jill at a place where I have never heard her before. She did "Show Me" on "Who Is Jill Scott?" but Jill clearly wants to leave the show behind this time and wants to do more telling this time around. Passion and desire is her theme and she won't be denied of either. "Crown Royal" continues where "Come See Me" left off from as Jill, in only a way she can, describes how the man who is giving her good lovin' tastes like crown royal on ice. "Come See Me" and "Crown Royal" will be intsant favorites once you hear the tracks a couple of times. "Epiphany" is produced by Scott Storch, who is best known for the track that he produced for The Terror Squad, "Lean Back". However, lately I have noticed his name on r&b CDs as well such as Floetry's "Flo'Ology" CD and Keyshia Cole's "Just Like You". "Epiphany" gives Jill a platform where she can continue "Come See Me" and "Crown Royal" but in a spoken word format. This is another nice track.

With it being common knowledge that Jill Scott is newly divorced, you knew that she would throw in some tracks to explain to her fans how she was feeling during this situation before and after. "My Love" is the 1st track that covers this territory as Jill is asking why would he settle for less when he shoud know that he was actually dealing with the real thing when he was with her. She's in disbelief because the word is he is getting remarried and Jill is able to tell him what he will be missing in the longrun. "Insomnia" is a nice midtempo track that has Jill in a situation where she is waiting for her then husband to come home and she isn't able to sleep because she is waiting for him. Jill is explaining how lonely she is at the moment and just wants him to come home. "How It Make You Feel" has Jill sending a message not just to Lyzel but to all men in general. She wants men to realize what they would be faced with if all the good women were gone and to see what we would have to deal with. "Only You" is a mellow track that has Jill in a place where she is fed up with things that have been occuring in the relationship. Deep down it seems that if there was some cooperation involved from the other party that she would think about changing her mind about leaving but that would require getting all of him back for her to do so. "Only You" seems simple but it's a deep track. "Whenever You're Around" quickly changes the mood because it's a nice feel good track. Jill speaks about a friend that has been in her life that has been making her feel good about herself but she is "trying" to make sure that things stay on a platonic level. Most people will get a kick out of "Celibacy Blues". Jill is describing a moment that must have occurred in her marriage where she went a long period of time without any "relations" from her husband. She even goes as far as saying that he ain't scratching "it" right and that she is using new batteries every night. I can honestly say that I never thought that I would hear anything like that on a Jill Scott CD. You'll have no problem figuring out what Jill wants on "All I". If you need any further clarification then Jill will definitely be explaining it to you during the course of the track. The track is in good taste but I guess after you deal with "Celibacy Blues" then you deserve the good lovin' that Jill is referring to in "All I". After everything she went through in her marriage she just wants to make up for some lost time on "Wanna Be Loved". The song should be retitled because it seems as if she just wants to have the good lovin' that she had missed out on. It's not really a song about love. "Breathe" closes things out on a good note as Jill is able to vent and get some things off her chest. She actually starts the track rapping and ends things with her lovely voice. The track is really an outro for people who didn't purchase the deluxe version of the CD.

If you purchased the deluxe version of "The Real Thing", then Track 16 is "Imagination" and ends with the same "Crown Royal" track that is Track 5 on the regular disc. "Imagination" is a nice slow jam that should have been included with the other tracks. She is singing about the way that a particular man is making her feel and she is clearly satisfied with the things that they are doing. "Rightness" features Mike Phillips and it is a nice feel good uptempo track. Jill is singing about how she gets her inspiration to right the songs that she does and Andre & Vidal produce a nice track.

Now is "The Real Thing" better than "Who Is Jill Scott?" No, it isn't. However, "The Real Thing" can be listened to in its entirety and you will be able to feel where Jill has been in the past 3 years since "Beautifully Human". Jill Scott has put together a well rounded CD and I am sure if you liked "Who Is Jill Scott?", "Beautifully Human", "Experience" and"Collaborations" that you will consider this CD "The Real Thing".

James' Top 6

1) Come See Me
2) Whenever You're Around
3) How It Make You Feel
4) All I
5) Crown Royal (Would be higher if the song was longer)
6) Imagination (Bonus Track)

Honorable Mention:

My Love
Epiphany
Insomnia
Only U
Rightness (Bonus Track)
Celibacy Blues
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Jill scott is one artist that continues to put out solid music year after year. With her third release she continues this streak by displaying thoughtful lyrics, a beautiful voice, and some nice tracks. The tracks range from having a slight rock tinge to just relaxing smooth tracks. Since Jill just got divorced, I was worried that this album would be overwhelmed with depressing songs. This is not the case. You can tell it affected her but she still has a nice mix of lyrics and songs. Favorites for me on the album are "all I", "how it make you feel", and "the real thing". This is a very nice album, cop it.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Jill Scott was introduced to the world on her aptly titled brilliant neo soul debut "Who is Jill Scott? (words and sounds Vol.1)" with it's jazz/soul/hip hop/poetry style, and here on her third studio release proper, she continues the trend, but with more jazzy flourishes. She co-wrote the classic Grammy winning "You got me" performed by The Roots with Erykah Badu, and we've been discovering more of her ever since.

Having experienced the vagaries of fame, as well as a brief marriage in the last few years, her lyrics as ever are cathartic, and the sound more mellow.

Opening things is the brief, hip hop styled "Let it be". Title track "The real thing" is full of wailing electric guitars giving a lite-rock feel, with Jill declaring she is the real thing. Lead off single "Hate on me" also guitar and horn driven set to heavy hip hop beats, is her retort to those hating on her because of her fame.

The airy, bouncy, bass heavy "Whenever you're around" belies the lyrics of the song; "cause I'm lonely/whenever you're around". Other standouts are the quiet storm feel of "Come see me", the brooding, spoken "Epiphany", "Only you" (with its deep bassline), and "Celibacy blues" (as its name implies, heavily blues styled).

Another classic from Ms Scott who always gives her fans the real thing!!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The music and beats are breathtaking. The singing and lyrics as well. But be warned: this isn't an uplifting, happy CD. It's quite the opposite. If you were looking for the female empowerment of Jill's previous songs (as in "One is the magic number" and the self-assured odes to love like "A Long Walk" and "He Loves Me" you will be surprised. Imagine and entire CD in the theme of "Love Rain" and you have this one. Do not expect to be uplifted. Just go along for the journey, and maybe see if you recognize some of yourself.

The confident twenty-something of her first CD has matured into her thrities with an aching heartbreak: the end of her marriage and romance of over a decade. Cracks in the wall were evident on her last CD: songs like "I need you" and "Talk to me" seemed to show that there were already communication fractures bubbling up.

Having seen Jill in concert at Radio City Music Hall this past summer, one could tell something was wrong and the pain was real. By the time she ad-libbed "you....hurt...me...but..I'm...healing" over and over at the end of a song while pretending to stitch up her own heart, you knew all was not well in lalaland. "Something's different" I told my husband as we listened to her.

Enter "The Real Thing". The title track screams confidence and is my second favorite song on the CD: with "Hate on Me" being my favorite (and new theme song). After that, we gets odes to sexual positions, sexual longing and raw lyrics about everything from a lover moving on beyond you to a once rational woman stalking and vandalizing her ex and his things.

Out of great pain often comes great art. I have to say, I haven't experienced everything she sings about in this CD, but some of the lyrics seem to have come straight out of the mouths of my friends, and I mean recently.

And Kudos, Jill, for asking the question: What would happen to black men if every single sister on earth just disappeared as an option for love, friendship, scorn, etc.? I totally didn't see this song coming, and I won't tell you which one it is either, but it surprises you. This song taking on sexism is a breath of fresh air in a day and age of "babydomehoweveryouwant2andiwillstillcatertoyoureveryneed" lyrics. Women of every color should be able to relate to this song.. what would happen if we were no longer here on this plane?

I do not want to leave you with the impression that this is a depressing project. What it is surpasses definition so I'm having a hard time. It really just feels like a journey through a mature woman's diary at a time of heartache. Yet it doesn't leave you feeling like it's a complete project, because you know that if part one is this stage of pain, part two will be a new stage of glory.

I await part two.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Jill Scott is personally one of my favorite singers in the music industry these days. Scott not only possesses an uncanny soulfulness that few have been able to emulate, but she also is a songwriter - a poet - who is truly mindful of the lyrics she writes. Few R&B singers have a way with words the way that Scott does; she's one of a kind. C'mon people, how many times have you heard a line like "[I'm] your phosphorus, I'm your energy" as she sings so passionately in the title track? It's rhetorical - she's a minority among real R&B songwriters; she's part of an elitest group. While BEAUTIFULLY HUMAN is arguably her best album, THE REAL THING possesses something that that Grammy award winning album didn't have - sass and true sensuality about it. Sure, "Cross My Mind" was sexy, but THE REAL THING takes it to another level. "Epiphany" is ten times steamier than "Cross My Mind" would ever dream of being. And guess what - I love the heightened sense of sensuality on THE REAL THINGS. It's enough to make you "hot and bothered", but not so much where the sensuality pervades the album (look no further Janet Jackson's awesomely bad DAMITA JO for an example). THE REAL THING is another successful chapter in Jill's brilliant career.

The album starts out with an unnecessary interlude, which proves to be the lowest point of THE REAL THING. Sure, it is more about "atmosphere", but the album would've been just as effective had it been absent. "The Real Thing" follows and is in my opinion one of Jill's best. Her use of words is a sharp as ever and "The Real Thing" is certainly more hooky than many of her previous numbers; it is infectious. "Hate On Me" may be the closest thing (besides "Golden") that Scott may come to having a truly commercial single. The production aludes blatantly to an image that is more hip-hop savvy for Scott, who is usually more "refined" in respect production work. "Hate on Me" showcases a side of Scott we haven't seen in which the "claws" come out. It's fantastic!

"Come See Me" is typical soulful Scott while fans will wish the brief "Crown Royal" was longer in duration. "Epiphany" is a personal favorite of mind as Scott acts out sex in perhaps the most sultry, sensual, titilating protrayal you've ever heard. Scott Storch's bass-heavy production suits Scott's "epiphany" perfectly. "My Love" is a neo-soul masterpiece as is the 'out of the box' "My Love" in which jazz-influenced melodic lines and harmonies give the listener chills. "Insomnnia", "How It Make You Feel", and "Whenever You're Around" are all worthwhile listens as is "Celibacy Blues", "All I" and "Wanna Be Loved". The album concludes with an the brief, interlude-like track "Breathe".

Consistent? Definitely. If you liked WHO IS JILL SCOTT?, her live album, BEAUTIFULLY HUMAN, or her COLLABORATIONS, you'll love THE REAL THING. It is definitely her sexiest album ever. And for the couples out there who are looking for some genuinely sensual "baby making music", THE REAL THING is exactly what you are looking for - honestly! 4 stars Jill!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I was never crazy about the terms Neo-soul or Grown Folks Music, I much rather refer to those 2 as SOUL and GOOD music, with yanno...actual lyrics that mean something and actual instruments that play in the background...It was always funny to me how something so authentic and organic was the one that required a sub category while the artificial and manufactured didn't..But after listening to "The Real Thing" i kinda thought to myself...."I wouldn't want Jill to be grouped with that other mess ANYWAY"

Real Thing is Jill's 3rd studio album since her 2004 effort "Beautifully Human", and for many who have listened would argue that this its her best since her CLASSIC 2000 debut "Who is Jill Scott"...why? you ask... Jill brings back the sass thats why! her first single "Hate on me" is the 2007 upgrade to "gettin in the way" in many ways, clearly not for the obvious reasons, but it brings back a Jill we all knew and loved, that sadly didn't show in Beautifully human, aswell as an overall feel of cohesiveness (admit, BH was was kind of all over the place). The song "Only you" also Jogs the memory of vintage Jill, with its laid back delivery and melodic piano.

With recent personal changes in Jill's life (shes divorced from her husband who inspired many of the classic tracks from her debut album) As a fan i expected for it to effect her sound in some way.... but that hasnt gotten her down one bit, its gotten her HORNY...someone please WIPE HER DOWN!...On songs like "Crown Royal" where she says "Your hands on my hips pull me right back to you, i catch that thrust give it right back to you, your in me so deep im breathin for you". With lyrics like this, it a pretty good indication that shes not sittin at home cryin while listening to the best of Phyllis Hyman. "All I" carries on the sensual mature vibe of crown royal and shows that this album, altho not necessarily considered "grown folks music" is definitely directed toward those who can appreciate not only good music but know what the hell shes talking about!! (and NO, lamont passin u a "do u like me? yes or no" note in homeroom doesnt mean uve experienced the ups and downs of love)

The one (of MANY) stand out tracks for me on the album is "Celibacy Blues" which is a bluesy type of track that delivers some sexual innuendos beautifully, without making you feel all....nasty, and shows off Jill's talent and love for writing (any one that can fit "he aint scratchin it right" in a song and have it NOT sound like a Crime Mob track should get some sort of award). "Epiphany" is delivered with a spoken word style, that Jill is genius, over a heavy percussive beat thats infectious and provides the first half of the album a slight upbeat rejuvenation and then slides into everyones current favorite "My Love". This song is reason enough to buy the album, but more so than anything shows the versatility in Jills talent, being able to display the power of love ("he loves me" anyone?) aswell as showing off what happens when things go south, SUCCESSFULLY. We all kno thats not an easy feat for EVERYONE, some cant do it AT ALL, while some can..but not too well (QQN @ Mary)...All in all i think that this album is one of the far more superior SOUL albums of the year...nothing neo, grown or sub category about it, pure vintage soul at its finest with every intention to make you love it, and love.... love.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Not "hard" in terms of sound, but "hard" in terms of the complexity of the material. This is not the same Jill Scott that we all know and love. This is a deeper, stronger and more COMPLETE version of Jilly from Philly. Her love songs from her first 2 studio albums were centered on finding love, celebrating love, and shaking off the myriad of counterfeits for love.

7 years and 1 divorce later, it is clear that she has experienced love from both sides of the fence.

This new expression of bold agression may catch some of her fans WAY WAY off guard. But for me - considering the fact that, at the time of this writing, I'm knee deep in the midst of the "Seven Year Itch", I can definitely resonate with what Sista Jill is saying. So do many of us.

How many of us are out in the club or at the bar every week looking for the type of buck-wild sex that Jill describes in "Epiphany"...and, after all of that acrobaticism, still ponder the same question she asks at the end of that (brief) record?

How many of us can recall looking at our new spouse beaming with pride on our wedding day only to declare a few years later that, even though they're at arm's length, we still feel lonely "Whenever You're Around"?

How many of us have achieved the level of success we've desired for all these years, hustling at jobs/careers/businesses and, despite our success, declare that we're still unsatisfied because there's a longing and buring desire on the inside of us that "Just Want(s) To Be Loved".

Love ain't all fun and roses. Love is agony, heartbreak and pain. Love, much like this album, is hard. Kudos to Sista Jill for shaking off the haters and telling it like it is! See you at your next concert!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This album is easily 5 stars! If you are a music lover this is a must for your collection... I encourage everyone to buy the album and NOT DOWNLOAD, neo/soul/R&B is not mainstream music but this album is what the music world is missing!!! This is the best album to date from Jill Scott, I listen to it non-stop from beginning to end!!! GO AND GRAB IT!!!! Show the industry that we need more R&B and NEO!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Jill Scott definitely did her thing on this CD. I love songs, the beats, the lyrics, the attitude. Many reviews keep commenting on the "erotic" lyrics. If you are an adult, her lyrics shouldn't shock you. She delves deep into her emotions and state of mind. I do not hear the sad divorcee lament that others seem to hear in these records. I hear a woman who has a story to tell; its not sad, its not happy. Its just the truth. Her truth. I love Insomnia- unfortunately I can relate to the lyrics on too many levels!!. Hate On Me is great with a strong thumping beat. Other strong songs are Crown Royal, Whenever you are around, How it make you feel (the teenagers love this song), Come See Me, Only You, Wanna be loved. As you can see, I love most of the songs on the CD. However, Epiphany is my favorite; her rap is so smooth and the beat is tight. With this CD, Jill has scored a place in my MP3 player for months.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
OOOOOOWEEEEEE!!! I think it would be best to tell you what you shouldn't do. You shouldn't:

-Expect it to be anything like her previous work.
-Expect it to be commercial.
-Expect kids to like it (It's not for them anyway).
-Expect nothing less than extraordinary from Ms. Scott.

That being said, once you listen to the whole CD you'll find yourself playing it over and over again. It's something about this CD that is so addicting. Maybe it's the visual images her words expresses. I don't know but if you can apply those four rules that I gave you then you might find yourself liking this as much as I did.
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