(Photo Design by: Michelle Holme)
WRITER: TAHIR REGISTER
DATE: jan 12, 2015
PUBLISHED: jan 12, 2015 6:23 pM
Overall: This album is a genius work of art! Sonically it’s very late 80s early 90s. Songs like “Stanley“ and “Stupid Girl“ take you back to the skating rink, heavy tube socks, afro’s, and grooving so hard whomever’s watching never cross’s your mind. Keeping it very “today” with songs like “Dumb feat. Meek Mill” and “Forever Don’t Last“, which is an R&B classic already, the album was wait worthy. Fans have waited for four years and it seems through her breakup, heartache, and trails Jazmine Sullivan’s pen game has gotten stronger than ever before! Don’t believe me? Buy The Album and see for yourself!
Song By Song Review
1. Dumb (Feat. Meek Mill): This song has strength to it. Being the first single off the album and the echo voices that hums strongly in the background of the entire record pushes the song. The lyrics are fitting for anyone who’s ever experienced heartbreak from young and dumb behavior. The bass is strong enough to be played in the club, and the vocal production is smooth enough to sing it while driving. Not to mention the dope rap that gives the male perspective by no other than co-Philly native Meek Mill.
2. Mascara: This is the kind of “different” that is needed in todays music. The lyrics are strong, the strongest lyrics I’ve heard for this generation of reality stars and social media teeny boppers. The lyrics carry the record. The heavy bass and almost confusing sweet backing vocals and simple instrumental melody really add a great humor to the record in comparison to the lyrics. This is quickly a fan favorite. Check out a live performance below:
3. Brand New: The opening Jazz influence of this record is genius! It sets the tone for something real. Almost rapping Jazmine Sullivan again hits us with some serious lyrics, thought provoking enough to make you sit home alone with that one arm in the air, hand made into a fist hitting the air like; “got damn!”. Jasmine Sullivan takes a vocal risk with a new almost squeaky vocal production, but it adds to the freshness of the record. This is most certainly a Hip-Hop and R&B influenced record with spats of Jazz mixed in that ties the album together.
4. Silver Lining: Very Michael Jackson influenced as far as production is concerned. Many may not think so, but it’s so Michael. This is my favorite song on the entire album. It appeals to everyone because we are all looking for that “silver lining…”. This record is neo-soul, Lauryn Hill meets Jill Scott meets Michael Jackson meets old Janet Jackson, everything good, right, and perfect. It will make you feel like you once did, that feeling that reminds you of all the good times. Even though the lyrics are about a journey its one with no regrets. A song filled with ample determination. The bass drum in this record is the driving force that pushes you to feel the clack of the drum sticks that go perfectly with the backing vocal harmony. This song is easy.
5. #HoodLove: Slightly reminiscent of Nina Simone, a modern day Nina-ish record, the honesty and production. The heavy bass almost tribal drum repeating throughout the record with the vocal wailing in the background gives a very theatrical and cinematic feel to the record. If you close your eyes you can almost visualize this record being played in the background of a movie, or Tv show. Aside from that the lyrics are very modern and I think that’s what many will navigate to while letting the track carry them into the scene, which I’m making out to be a vintage 80s Harlem NYC feel.
6. Let It Burn: Opening strongly with that 80s synth almost disco-ish sound with that lovely constant bass plucking away. Sonically this song is easily a fan favorite. Even the vocal production is similar to how many R&B artist would record their vocals in the 80s maybe even 70s. The piano in this record is magical, it’s almost like you don’t realize it’s there, but when you do, prepare for the magic. Very Diana Ross of Jazmine Sullivan to talk during a semi-breakdown of the record, this is an easy track. It’s very reminiscent of Janet Jackson’s “Where Are You Now”. Very chorus driven, the message gets across to the listener by way of the riffing and strong vocal ad libs.
7. Veins: Fans will question this record. The lyrics are strong and seemingly personal. Jasmine Sullivan has talked about doing drugs before, but this song which seems to feature Frank Ocean is very lyrically revealing. It’s hard to listen to the chorus and not think maybe Jazmine went through this? The pain in her voice is clear here. There is a lot of synth and flurry around the vocals which adds a very, almost psychedelic haze to the record which adds to the topic of drug use.
8. Forever Don’t Last: Grammy worthy, this classic R&B record is timeless! Jasmine revealed this song was about her breakup and what she realized during the devastating process of abuse and heartbreak. The opening will send chills down your spine!! Throughout the album Jazmine Sullivan fearlessly shows her vocal lows and her belting highs and this song sums up the power of the album. Lyrically driven and emotionally revealing. If you want soul music, this song is for you! Scatting, guitar solos, smooth backing harmony…This song is simply, perfect!
9. Stupid Girl: Genius lyrics, this record is what it means to be a song writer. Taking real issues, serious issues, and making it relatable, musical, and slightly lighter than the topic itself. Another record fans may think is about Jazmine. Very 70s you can almost imagine a vintage, Shaggy-esk music video. A strong lyrical message to women begging women to use their heads and stop being stupid girls. The women who purchase the album will certainly love this record. Check her out performing it live below:
10. Stanley: Throw on your tube socks, get your short shorts on, your roller skates and hit the skating rink!!! This record is very vintage, which is a tying theme throughout the album. Along with slight humor, this song a groovy record. Another timeless piece that belongs in a movie or tv show. All of you afro picking, lock wearing, lyrically conscience musicians and music lovers will undoubtedly love this record. Who’s Stanley…who cares catch this awesome sub bass and clap along while riding backwards on your skates at the rink! Ha! With another vocal risk with this groovy accent Jazmine is speaking in this record is simply groovy.
11. Masterpiece (Mona Lisa): I question if this should’ve been the title of the album because this album is just that, a masterpiece. This record, along with many others on the album belongs in a film! The heavy audience-like live feel of the record drives it. It’s timeless, as if it could fit perfectly in a “Dirty Dancing” scene. The choir voices and constant almost cheering and clapping of the track adds to the grandness of the record. The modulation that happens toward the end of the track really amps up the song, with that vocal scream and passion this record is another fan favorite easily. Lyrically beautiful and self assuring, Jazmine Sullivan out did herself with this record. If I did have a negative…it should have been the last song on the album, not the 11th.
12. If You Dare: Ending the album with excitement and a lovely bass groove and claps that make you jam! The call and response-esk chorus will certainly have people in their homes, cars, and parties screaming loud! Some may even consider this a pop cross-over record, and I’d agree. It’s very z100 sounding, worldly. A daring record, I’d be surprised if I find one person who doesn’t like this record. The heavy bass drum and claps alone with amp you to another level, a different kind of turn up for R&B lovers, but a good one!
Now that you’ve explored the Album if not by listening, simply buy it, but if you found this review helpful let us know below in the comments!
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