The Billboard charts are now officially impossible to predict. Jill Scott hadnt released a new album in nearly four years. She had parted ways with her record label, was busy starring in an HBO series, and saw tourmate Maxwell cancel the second leg of their tour in 2010. Taking into account the fact that Scott has never had an LP hit the top of the charts, surely there was no way her brand-new album, The Light of the Sun, could hope to land at number one. Wrong. Coming in at number one on both the R&B and Billboard 200, Scott has proven once and for all that she is here to stay. The album itself isnt a groundbreaker by any stretch of the imagination, but such is neo-soul, and Scotts seductive vocals make up for whatever predictability pops up here and there.
The album’s centerpiece and lead single is So in Love, a duet featuring a game performance from Anthony Hamilton. His back-and-forth with Scott is the stuff R&B dreams are made of. Contributions from fellow artists surface all over the first half of the album, where even Eve pops up on Shame to prove she still raps. Theres even the welcome return of Doug E. Fresh, who beatboxes over pool hall piano in the gleeful All Cried Out Redux to temporarily steal the spotlight from Scott. Its a shame Paul Walls verse on So Gone (What My Mind Says) feels so out of place(I know you feel it all in your stomach/When you arch your back… Ass in the air when you bite that pillow).
At 14 tracks, The Light of the Sun would have fared better if cut by three or four numbers. But thats why god invented the skip button. Forget the tiresome slow-tempo tracks, such as When I Wake Up and Rolling Hills, and enjoy the rest of the record. Bask in the short, free verse stylings of Quick and the beautiful piano ballad that is Hear My Call. You may come out feeling quite Blessed. And, yes, I went there.