Album Review: Jill Scott – The Light of the Sun

by Kil

I’ve been a Jill Scott fan from day one. I had the sampler of her 1st album “Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1” and played it like it was the entire album. Now with that being said, you should be able to guess how much I played the album when it actually dropped. Even though I didn’t know her, I felt like we grew up on the same block in North Philly together. You see, Jill’s from Philly and I’m from Philly. So, there’s automatically a bond between us. The same way there’s an automatic bond between Jay Z and somebody from Brooklyn. And the bond between me and Jill was thick. So thick, that when her live album “Experience Jill Scott” dropped, even though I was unemployed and loot was CRAZY TIGHT, it wasn’t tight enough for me not to ask wifey to let me squeeze $12.99 out of our depleted savings to cop it. And when the buzz started to circulate about Jill’s sophomore release “Beautifully Human” I can only compare my anticipation for that album to when I was waiting for Nas to drop “It Was Written”, his follow up to “Illmatic.” I truly wish I could describe how I felt after listening to “Beautifully Human” for a good minute, and wasn’t REALLY feeling it. I mean, it wasn’t wack, but it was FAR from the greatness that I was expecting from Ms. Scott. The ill thing is, when her 3rd album “The Real Thing” dropped and my expectations for Ms. Scott were vastly lower, I LOVED the album! So I started thinking, “do I need to lower the expectation I have for some of my fave artists?” I’m not sure if I ever answered that question, but no matter what my expectations were for Jill, “The Real Thing” was just that….the real thing. So, it seems like I LOVE all of Jill’s odd numbered CD’s and don’t fool with the even numbered ones. So with her fourth album being an even numbered album, I’m expecting I’ll hate The Light of the Sun and we’ll see if my mathematical equation of Jill’s music holds true.

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Well, after hearing “Shame”, with Philly’s favorite pit bull in a skirt Eve (which sounds like it was a leftover that should’ve been on a Cosmic Kev mixtape and not on Jill’s actual album) and “So In Love” with Anthony Hamilton, I figured my mathematical equation was accurate to the tee cause I HATE both of these songs. You get Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton and THIS is what you come out with? Really? Can I get a do over or something? But once you get past those two missteps, you’re blessed with Jill at her best. “So Blessed” produced by Dre and Vidal (can we please get a whole Dre & Vidal produced Jill album? PLEASE?) gives Jill the perfect break beat backdrop to share all of the blessings going on in her life. “All Cried Out Redux” features the world’s greatest entertainer Doug E. Fresh on the beat box and has Jill on her Lisa Lisa jawn and “Quick” will answer some of the questions about what went down between Jill and her son’s father. “Some Other Time” has Jill reminiscing on a recent date with the first verse dedicated to how much she was feeling dude “original hip hop element, break dancing, fat laces, Beat Street, Soul Train, he’s kinda Don Cornelius to me, cooler than a fan” while the 2nd verse goes in on what dude might be “he could be a snake in the grass, deceptively hiding waiting to spill his venom on my ass, he could be cold blooded with another woman behind another door/and another couple of kids, 3 or 4.” The thing I REALLY love about the “Light of Day” is the ballads. Jill didn’t hold back on giving us some banging slow jawns for this album and that’s where “So Gone (What My Mind Says)” featuring Paul Wall (yup, Paul Wall), “Making You Wait” and “Missing You” come into play. But the gem of the album, and I do mean the gem is “Le BOOM Vent Suite” which checks in at 9 minutes and has three different movements that go from banging, to beautiful to flat out beautiful!

With The Light of the Sun it sounds like Jill Scott is having fun making music again. From her adlibs (“I gotta do what I gotta do son”) to her leaving the track recording while her and Doug E. Fresh laugh and chop it, I just get the vibe that Jill was chillin’ in the studio with this album. Which in turn, translate into me enjoying the music that much more. So, I guess I gotta throw my Jill Scott mathematical equation out of the window cause this even numbered album is just as great as the odd numbered albums she’s dropped. But it’s all good…I’ve never been good at math anyway.

4.5 outta 5

  • Michael

    What an unintelligent, unsophisticated “review.” Then again, looking at you, I can’t exactly be surprised. Anyway, Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 is Jill Scott’s best album. Deal with it.

  • BU

    Thank you for the review. I share your feelings about Vol. 1: pure brilliance. Vol. 2 is kinda okay, but just lacks the freshness and excitement of her debut.

    Oh, and don’t mind Michael. He’s been listening to Jill Scott, but he obviously hasn’t understood her words. Shame…

    • Michael

      What an un-clever pun. Just like this “author,” you’re about as much of a fool as Rasool. Understand that.

  • Adler Bloom

    Jill Scott’s latest album “The Light of the Sun” is a hybrid of soul, funk, hip hop, jazz, and spoken word that celebrates love, life and the struggle of it all. So often, artists seem to write in the macrocosm painting overly broad pictures in an attempt to strike a universal chord. Jill Scott does the opposite (with better affect) singing in an extremely personal way about her own truths and relationships of all sorts. The lyrical content on the album feels real and intimate like she is expounding her personal feelings to you over the backyard fence or in the corner of a noisy party. The first track Blessed with it’s Mercy, Mercy Me like submarine drum beat wraps a comfortable retro soul vibe around your shoulders in an instant as Jill reminds us how blessed we all are “my grandma almost lived to see 92 – I’m so blessed… my son was born healthy and beautiful- I’m so blessed”. She shares So in Love with Anthony Hamilton, a soulful 70-ish party song that has a stripped down fade out that is to die for. Shame with Eve again evokes a technicolor 70’s TV show full of female swagger “I can stand on my own- I’m magnificent. I’m a queen on the throne – I’m magnificent.

    Much of this album approaches it’s many musical genres with a full on jazz attitude not afraid to make sudden right turns or U turns at a moments notice. In Cried Out (Redux) Doug E. Fresh provides the beatbox for Jill’s amazing vocals that are is at once soul and pure jazz. In an instant the song slaps you in the face with a ragtime piano and 40’s flow as you realize that the beat box was simulating tap dance phrasings all along. Jill Scott certainly has full control of her magnificent pipes and can be mother, sister, and lover. Hear My Call (God, hear my call) asks for his help over stirring violins and piano. Until Then (I Imagine) is as sexy as hell and could put Viagra and Cialis out of business. Some Other Time has a alternative trippy vibe ala Santo Gold and is full of Jill’s thought bubbles about last night’s date or chance meeting with an interesting man. Making you – glides with the stride of a powerful woman and many artists would of taken this powerful groove and turned it large with heavy drums and instrumentation midstream but, no, this production is self assured enough to not do so. It is clear that this entire album is forged in this self assured way. In Womanifesto, Jill Scott goes back to her roots as a spoken word artist and over a day dreamy hum she starts- “Clearly, I am not a fat ass. I am active brain and lip smacking peach deep. Sometimes too aggressive in it’s honesty and heart sweet that loves wholly and completely whom it may choose. Whomever it may choose.” The piece becomes more personal from there and is as strong and complex as “The Light of the Sun”.


    Adler Bloom

    • Sonovia H

      I completetly concur! well written, great sense of the essence of the album

  • Troy

    Dude, loved you review. It wasn’t pretentious and it wasn’t over-thought. You sound like a true Jill Scott fan, and since I consider myself a true fan as well, I appreciate the fact that you kept it real with us. And with that, I’ll be copping the album on Tuesday.

    P.S. – I still enjoy listening to “So in Love” for some reason. Yeah, the lyrics are kind light and the groove is uber-simple, but it still feels like a summer jam.

  • Kil

    Good looking for all of the comments good and bad…lol…I appreciate them!

  • elo’

    I cop’d this latest JS project, I’m on the side of not feeling it. I like about 2 songs on it literally the 1st one and the last one. I listen’d to the whole thing thinking that it would gel as a body of work, but it seems like so well crafted demo’s, that needed some work to be mad songs. Jill’s ‘Thriller’ was her first jawn, and her light has paled in the sun every since (minus the live joint). I’m always pulling for her, but I just haven’t been feelin’ her since her first project, my 2 cent, great review.

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  • Sonovia H

    Personal S/O to Kil, I’m one of Cherie’s BFFs, great review, lovin on some Jill Scott!

    • Kil

      Good looking for checking out the review Sonovia! I appreciate the love!

  • Chris M

    I AM A DIEHARD JILL SCOTT FAN!!!! I on the other hand loved all of her albums except….. This one the light of the sun!!!! First album didn’t have to skip one song EXCELLENT!!!!!! second album pretty good only skipped like one or two songs, third album just like the first the real thing for real loved it!!!!!
    I waited with much anticipation for this album!!!! And I have listened to it THREE times!!!!!!! And I am her BIGGEST FAN!!!! I am trying to make myself like it!!! But I keep skipping and skipping;(((( I like 3,4,5 6? 8,9, 15 I am so mad at myself but I am not a fan of this album!!!!
    I love you Jill and I will buy your next album regardless !!!! My friend asked me if I wanted to burn the CD and I said no!!! I got to support my girl”!!! But I kinda wish I had burned a copy from my friend, I’m sorry;(

  • Jacqueline Ausby

    I’m like dude, I was feeling Jill Scott on her first album, on her second I wasn’t blown away, her third quite the same and this time around I wasn’t expecting too much. I live in Philly and love Jill Scott’s demeanor, so I gave “The Light of the Sun,” a chance, despite my feelings about the joint with Anthony Hamilton, I didn’t like that single. It could be better with two singing superstars as they both have voices that are the bomb. She could just kill “Shame,” with Eve, wasn’t feeling that at all. But the rest of the album I enjoyed. I dig the Womenfesto, enough to share with other women. It’s not beaten down and corny at all. I also love the beat and movement changes in La Boom, it reminds me another one of my Jill Scott’s favorites, “Talk to me.” But by far “Blessed,” is the best song on this CD. I have literally repeated…repeated…and repeated this song over and over again. I love the beat, the lyrics the vibe. I’m glad I purchased this CD just for that song…kudos to Jilly from Philly on “The Light of the Sun!”

  • Tadaia

    Good review! The most important point to me was that Ms Scott seems to be really enjoying her work here and is convincing in whatever she’s saying. The band is sharp as necessary and complimentary to her voice. I guess its all a matter of opinion and personally I was not so impressed with her last CD on the whole. This one however most certainly made up for it.

  • jesse

    good review. but i really loved beautifully human.

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