Sullivan shines in soulful debut

As a R&B/Hip-Hop lover, I have been waiting for another album like Miseducation of Lauyrn Hill to come along and rock my soul and it has finally come. But to understand the album, we have to learn a bit about the songstress herself. When she was 11, she performed on “Showtime at the Apollo” and was even asked to sign to a gospel label but respectfully declined the offer.

She told her mother that she wanted to sing secular music, so to help her daughter learn the basics of soul music she broke out old school classics. Singers like Donnie Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin are what helped to mold her voice and repetoire into a soulful powerhouse.

Jazmine came through the musical ranks in Philadelphia when a musical collective called The Jazzyfastnastees (Jill Scott, The Roots, Kindred, Floetry) were garnering acclaim in the mid and late ’90s She was then put in touch with J Records, where she auditioned face to face with Clive Davis and was signed, on the spot, to a deal.

The first track to grab my ears was “Bust Your Windows.” This song is “Waiting to Exhale” set to music, and the lyrics tell the whole story. “I bust the window out ya car/and though it didnt mend my broken heart/I’ll probably always have these ugly scares/but right now I don’t care about that part”. The lyrics verbalize what people do or feel after they have taken their anger out on their significant others possesions (i.e. the car).

Many of you might say its a cliche song but the beat behind Jazmine’s words is what makes the track come to life. Once you are let into the world of heartache, she keeps the pain coming with tracks like “Hurricane”, “Livin’ A Lie”, “Foolish Heart”, and “Need U Bad”. All three songs talk about the hurt you feel after losing that one you love, how the truth can hurt you, how you fall in love quickly and have your heart broken, and how much you want that person back.

After she’s taken you on the proverbial “emotional rollercoaster” of broken hearts, fears and tears, she speeds up the tempo and gives you some insight to what women are thinking but won’t say. The aptly titled song “One Night Stand” lets men in on the sexual ego that women tend to have and how quickly they can be blown out of the water. A lyric that talks about it is during the bridge, “So I decided I would try it/and because I couldn’t fight it/I would do it so good/I’d have him makin’ me pancakes in the morning” but on the same token he flips th script on her, “I put it down/but he flipped the swith on me/It was me makin’ pancakes in the morning.” The ’60s inspired track for the back ground only made the track more ironic and fun.

Overall, the CD is one to make a part of you collection. I especially love the disc because I never pressed the skip button on my laptop once. I was throughly entertained, and captivated by her sultry voice and the infectious beats that were laced by producers like Anthony Bell, Missy Elliot, and Salaam Remi. In my opinion, Jazmine Sullivan will be what people my age tell their children was good music when were coming up.