As real as she gets

Jill Scott has never been afraid to be herself. Since her debut in 2000, the Philly-bred songstress has gone against the typical R&B image of a size two body and sexual innuendos and stayed true to herself, delivering real concepts and relatable stories. With her fifth album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, Scott continues to experiment with singing, poetry and even some rap.

The album sounds like an emotional rollercoaster. The first three songs play like the climb up a big hill before the first drop. On opening track “Let it be,” Scott stresses to be true to oneself no matter what as she sings over a smooth, airy drum sample. The next two tracks are uplifting, empowering songs for women, like the lead single “Hate On Me,” which features a pounding hip-hop drum line and blaring horns. Scott reaches her highest vocal pitch on this, and rightfully so, explaining that haters will be haters regardless.

The big drop occurs with the arrival of track four, when the emotions start to manifest in Scott’s music, where loops and twists and turns form. The album slows down and mellows out with a more intimate and sexual mood. Anticipation brews at a slow roast with “Come See Me.” Passion oozes throughout the hypnotizing interlude of “Crown Royal” and the poetic and sensual “Epiphany.” Reminiscent lost love skips through “My Love” and a lonesome and frustrated Scott cries out on the jazzy “Insomnia.”

Throughout, Jill Scott flows in and out of every song with her strong, definitive voice and original lyrics. The upbeat, two-step tune of “Whenever You’re Around” is where a fed-up Scott explains distance in a relationship. The album comes to a close with one of the album’s best tracks, “All I,” a nice one to get in the mood with, and “Wanna Be Loved.” The album comes back full circle and makes a complete stop with “Breathe.”

On The Real Thing, Jill Scott continues to not be afraid of being herself; each song flowing right into the next, expressing the many emotions, thoughts and feelings that women tend to have as they experience life, love, sex and relationships. Good for any mood, great for any R&B lover.