The Real Thing - Words and Sounds, Vol. 3 (Bonus Track Version)
In a world where it sometimes seems that female performers must conform to one of two stereotypes — either Rihanna’s pop diva with teen appeal, or Norah Jones’ model of the demure, adult-oriented songstress — Jill Scott is one of the few who can successfully bridge the jazz generation with the hip-hop generation. Unlike so many products of today’s music world, Scott seems entirely in control of her image and abilities. Brassy numbers like “The Real Thing” and “Hate On Me” set the album’s tone, fuelled as they are by Scott’s take-charge attitude and extra-bold vocals. But Scott doesn’t just demand that we respect her strength; she demands we see every side of her, vulnerability (“Wanna Be Loved”), spirituality (“Breathe”), and powerful libido (“Epiphany,” “Crown Royal,” “Celibacy Blues,” “All I”) included. No matter the material, Scott molds her voice to match the tone; whether she is belting it out like a r’n’b shouter or hanging back on the beat like a nightclub chanteuse, her vocal presence is never less than captivating. For all her many moods, Scott is best heard in her signature setting: standout track “My Love” pairs her unadulterated singing with little more than the lush tones of a Rhodes keyboard and some finger snaps.