Jill Scott The Real Thing Words and Sounds Volume 3 Album Review
Jill Scott Overview
Things are going well in Jill Scott’s personal life these days.
The three-time Grammy award winning singer from Philadelphia is expecting her first child with fiancée (Lil’) John Roberts in a couple of months.
And by most accounts, the sweet-singing Scott is at a genuinely happy place in her life.
But in order for things to get where they are today, she had to go through a considerably darker period – namely her divorce from husband Lyzel Williams after six years of marriage.
Forged from a period in her life when things were not all positive, comes The Real Thing (Words and Sounds Vol. 3).
The good news, however, is The Real Thing is anything but a downer. In fact, it’s pretty much a romantic-themed disc. One that, save for a couple of songs, would find a worthy place on a cozy evening with a nice fire and bottle of wine.
Where Beautifully Human got its wings from the intoxicating highs of perfect love, The Real Thing looks at both sides of a relationship. The good and the bad.
Moving from intimate seduction to bitter betrayal, The Real Thing never lets us forget that Scott is still a top-flight soul singer.
While comparisons to the late Minnie Riperton are probably not off base, Scott pushes her sexuality to the limit, going to areas where Riperton never went.
Lucky us for us.
Jill Scott "The Way"
As she seductively purrs her way through “Come See Me,” softly singing “I feel like I’ve been waiting an eternity for you to touch me,” it makes you wonder why any fool would ever leave her side. A spot-on blast of Philly cool helps turn the heat up on the track.
“Crown Royal” and “Epiphany” fit into Scott’s plan for seduction on The Real Thing. In those tunes, she goes into vivid detail, leaving virtually nothing to the imagination, about an evening of bedroom antics guaranteed to make the blood pressure rise.
Way too short, clocking in at under two minutes in length, “Crown Royal” is an excellent slow-grinding cut, driven by drums, about a lover who likes his Crown Royal chilled, on the rocks, and his love hot, without restraint.
“Epiphany” is similar in theme and while Scott does give us the play-by-play of an evening to remember, she never crosses the line into vulgarity. That takes a special talent. One that the sultry Scott clearly has.
“All I” is another track about, well, getting’ it on, of course.
For some tasty piano, turn to the mellow “Only You,” where Scott channels her inner Anita Baker, making it a another standout cut on The Real Thing.
The hip-hoppish opener “Let it Be” threads its way into the title cut “The Real Thing,” complete with some tasty rock guitar licks. “Let it Be” puts one into the frame of mind that there is no box, no shackles, that can keep us down. And on disc’s title track, Scott sets us straight about the fact that yes, she is indeed The Real Thing.
But things are not all fun and games on The Real Thing.
A couple of cuts on the disc are marked with a darker, more somber tone, marked by hurt and filled with a touch of vindictive spite. Clearly, Scott is upset, but by the same token, she’s surely not depressed with the way things turned out.
“Hate on Me” opens in an ominous mood and when Scott spews “If I could give you the world on a silver platter, would it even matter, you still be mad at me,” you take her for her word. And want to stay out of her way, too.
A message left on a former lover’s phone, pointedly asking if he’s better off with his new mate, kicks off “My Love” and shows that while Scott may be heartbroken, she’s not down for the count. She knows just what her lover sacrificed when he walked out on her and she lists those things back to him, creating doubt in his mind.
Another short and to the point cut, “Celibacy Blues,” is just that. The blues. The blues as the result of dealing with the immediate effects of a breakup. That and about “needing new batteries every night.” Ouch.
On “Wanna Be Loved,” an upbeat cut, Scott gets a chance to rap, showing she’s still way on top of her game.
The Deluxe Edition of The Real Thing contains a real gem of a track toward the end of the disc, the beautiful slow jam “Imagination.”
So if one wonders just how Jill Scott spent her three years between the release of 2004’s Beautifully Human and 2007, The Real Thing (Words and Sounds Vol. 3) should serve as a detailed answer. Is Jill Scott part of the 100 greatest neo soul songs of all time?
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