A few weeks ago, TC wrote about the decline of the R&B album. He was right, vocoders, the desire to become singing rappers and overly formulaic snoozefests that somehow pass for albums have dominated the market. Jazmine Sullivan has come out of nowhere to bring us back to the golden age. Her new album, Fearless, powered by production from Missy Elliott and Salaam Remi, is an adamant declaration of a new powerhouse on the R&B scene.
Jazmine’s sound has immediately garnered comparisons to Lauryn Hill due to her full voice and willingness to attack each note as if it were the only thing between her and Heaven’s gates. Sullivan does not coast through a single moment. She exhausts every breath in order to create beautiful and at times heart-wrenching songs. I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to R&B production. This allows singers to showcase their skill. Sullivan’s “Lions, Tigers & Bears” and “My Foolish Heart” are light on production but heavy on boisterous sound. “After The Hurricane” is one-woman throwback to SWV’s classic songs while “One Night Stand” is modern day doo wop.
There are no rappers on the album. No boom baps and DJ scratches. Just melodies and instrumentation. This is rhythm and blues at its finest.
Here’s a sample of some of my favorite songs from the album. If you like it, go cop it. As much as Hip-Hop needs you to buy quality albums, R&B may be in even more desperate straits.
And we need more Jazmine Sullivan’s.
Previously Posted — Jazmine Sullivan – “Bust Your Windows” Video