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    Jill Scott

    Experience : Jill Scott 6 ( 2001 )
    Show Intro / A Long Walk / Love Rain / Slowly Surely / One Is The Magic / Do You Remember / Gettin In The Way / It's Love / The Way / Fatback Taffy / He Loves Me / Free Prelude / Gotta Get Up / One Time / Sweet Justice / Thickness / High Post Brotha / Gimme / Be Ready / Free Epilogue

    I only bought this album because I'd heard good things about her debut, and heard comparisons ( favourable comparisons ) to fave of mine, Erykah Badu. But, listening to this mix of live tracks and new studio offerings has left me distinctly underwhelmed. Do you know what one of the most annoying sounds in all of hip-hop and soul is? Yes folks, its "one time". Jill even sees fit to call an entire song 'One Time' and yes Fugees fans, she does indeed emote "one time" through the song. It's rather horrible. Of the studio tracks, 'Sweet Justice' is a favourite of mine, so cool and laid back, such high and accomplished soulful vocals. It's a little bland, but the vocals really are pretty groovy. As for the live songs, many of the tracks are compositions taken from Jill's acclaimed debut, 'Who Is Jill Scott'. Maybe I should have just bought that first? Maybe that would have made more sense? But then, this product, this record - exists. It's here, and people are gonna buy it. Not just fans, other people too. Why else include an entire CD of new studio offerings in the first place? Plenty of the live tracks feature little solo spots for band members and are elongated beyond all normal human tolerance. There is also much interaction between Jill and the audience, a few visual things as well, truly lost on a live album such as this. So, what was the point exactly? To prove she can sing? We knew that, well, a lot of people knew that. For those that didn't know that - just being able to sit through the live tracks in their entirety in the first place will be nearly impossible, so whether she can sing or not, isn't really the point. The live side of this album is one word, and that word is dull. It doesn't translate to CD. You can hear the audience are all having a great time, you can hear the accomplished playing and singing, but this isn't for me.

    Switching to the studio set, 'Prelude' is just that, a solid groove that lasts for a minute and half to lead into the album proper. 'Gotta Get Up' features a half spoken / half sung vocal to open - the beats come in all cinematic like and suddenly yours ears prick up. Dance producers '4Hero' were involved partly with the musical setting, and it's a fine musical setting. Jill sings this really very well and this one song is enough to convince me she has both talent and potential. 'One Time' I've already mentioned - it really is terribly old and clichéd sounding, however well the vocals have been put down. To be fair, she only 'sings' "one time" a couple of times but that's more than enough for me. 'Sweet Justice' is something bordering on special, her voice carries this from beginning to end. 'Thickness' is an eleven minute long spoken/sung poem whilst the band groove around in the background. It's interesting, funny and intelligent but not something to withstand repeated listening. 'Gimme' is enjoyably dance based, 'Be Ready' absolutely fascinating musically. Spooky and beautiful in equal measure whilst at the same time featuring a whopping great drum sound. She needs more interesting musical settings such as this, if you ask me. Not that you did of course. Ok, so I'm disappointed that Jill Scott isn't Erykah Badu. But, I can get over that, I did get over 'that' quite quickly, actually. The disappointment that remains is just how disposable much of the material here really is, especially the live half of the album. But, she can sing. I'll be certainly interested in what she does next.

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    Readers Comments

    brittney lashae185@hotmail.com
    as i'm reading your review of the EXPERIENCE by jill scott, i fell my jaw dropping lower and lower. i absolutely loved the live album and absolulety disagree with everything you think. the instumental intros, though long, are off the hook. all of the songs (the live ones) are incredible. THICKNESS is off the chain. why wouldn't you listen to it multiple times.its the truth told in the form of both song and poem. i think jill scott songs sound better when she sing them live. you just get more. anywho, i think you might want to listen to the album one more time and rethink that review!

    John, County Kildare, Ireland john.j.doyle@nuim.ie
    Okay, first and foremost, I have NOT heard the album in its entirety, so it would wrong of me to suggest this review is wrong (if that doesn't sound too awkward). But from what I've heard of Jill's music in general, there's something very positive happening, be it her Badu style vibes, or the unorthodox streaks a lot of her songs possess. I think this is an album that deserves an opportunity to prove its worth. I'll stick with Jill Scott, she's has something really good going on.


    this page last updated 14/10/08


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