Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Scott has come a long way since she was working as The Roots' hook girl. (Can you imagine a time when Scott rode the bus on the Things Fall Apart tour just to come out and sing the chorus she'd written for Erykah Badu to sing in "You Got Me"? And people were kind of bummed when she hit the stage - until they heard her sing, of course?) Scott began in Philadelphia as a spoken-word artist, and on The Light of the Sun, she incorporates that work into her songs cleverly. When she finds an opening to leaven her singing with speech, she goes for it, but within reason and to an end.
That end might be an offering to women when they're feeling bruised or disappointed. Scott has publicly taken a few punches herself in recent years - a divorce, followed by a short relationship which left her a single parent. "God, please hear my call / I am afraid for me," she sings in "Hear My Call." "Love has burned me raw / I need your healing." In that song, Scott is backed by swelling strings and tender piano; she says "please" over and over, with a different inflection every time. But in spite of the pleading, there isn't anything ragged in her voice.
Scott's words aren't wasteful, and she doesn't sound like the type to cry in public. She's honest and heartfelt, but she also comes off as a better version of a regular woman. I've seen a sold-out arena crowd hang on her every word and shout encouragement from the cheap seats. She feels close enough that listeners can sing with her, while still looking up to her.
After all, this is the woman who can turn a Doug E. Fresh beatbox and a touch of ragtime piano into the bottom of a breezy kissoff song ("All Cried Out [Redux]"), in which she sounds more free and brazen than she has in years. This is also the woman who calls herself a "motherf - - G" in a spoken-word track called "Womanifesto" - and destroys all doubt that she's anything less."-NPR
Rolling Stone (p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "THE LIGHT OF THE SUN, Scott's first disc since splitting up with her (now-ex) drummer, recalls that relationship with jazzy, good-natured candor on 'Quick.'"
Entertainment Weekly (p.74) - "With its earnest introspection and earthy textures -- not to mention guest spots by Eve and Anthony Hamilton -- LIGHT has a distinctly early-aughties vibe....It's a welcome flashback." -- Grade: B+
Paste (magazine) - "Her dexterity in juxtaposing genres, infusing her swooping jazz-singing with near-gospel fervor, kittenish moans and shameless spoken exhortations is commanding."
Uncut (magazine) (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] velvet soul confessionals where her aching but pliant, octave-scaling vocal colours across the emotional spectrum."
Recording information: 9th Street Studios, Santa Monica, CA; Fever Recording Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Studio 609, Philadelphia, PA; The Boom Boom Room, Burbank, CA; The Studio, Philadelphia, PA; The Village Studios, West Los Angeles, CA; Threshold Sound & Vision, Santa Monica, CA.
Photographers: Steven Gomillion; Dennis Leupold.
The Light of the Sun, Jill Scott's first album for the Warner Bros. label, is led by the slick disco-funk of "So in Love," a duet with Anthony Hamilton. The `70s-flavored album features production work from JR Hutson and Dre & Vidal, as well as featured performances from Eve and Doug E. Fresh.
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- Smooth Jazz Tribute to Jill Scott (Smooth Jazz All Stars)