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Maxwell's long-awaited and much-delayed fourth studio album 'Black', his first for eight years, is the follow-up to 2001's 'Now' and the first in a projected trilogy called 'BlackSummers' Night'. Maxwell has long been a favourite among fans of neo-soul, eschewing hype and the limelight in favour of simply making good records. The single 'Pretty Wings' gives a good indication of where he is at on this album, channeling Al Green over a relaxed yet sultry groove that sounds simultaneously classic and ultra-modern.
The Light of the Sun feels like the sort of album made by someone who's busy doing something else: in Jill Scott's case her acting, bringing up her child and recovering from a broken heart. This doesn't mean, however, that it feels as if her music is taking second place to all these other matters. In fact, the album feels like the rush of somebody being able to celebrate/commiserate while on the run. Hence the album has a looseness, an unfinished air, and it revels in its spontaneity. There is studio chatter and laughter left on the tape, capturing a freewheeling vibe. Opener Blessed is a lovely, touching tribute to her son - with lines such as "I love the studio, but I love him more," it is a sincere celebration of motherhood. So In Love, a sweet and sprightly duet with Anthony Hamilton, is sun-kissed radio-friendly soul that references the past and showcases her beautiful voice.
Shame, which features Eve, works with a soupcon of the goodtime bluebeat of Shame, Shame, Shame by Shirley & Company and gives it a killer shuffle. Doug E. Fresh, the human beatbox, pops up on Scott's sassy street strut All Cried Out Redux. Missing You has a wafting insouciance that has the makings of becoming a quiet-storm classic; this lazy vibe is continued on When I Wake Up. Womanifesto is incredible: it takes the listener back to her poet roots, outlining the attributes of womanhood with a sassy rap.
There is a real sadness here too, though. Hear My Call is where Scott's mask of positivity slips. It is a straight prayer, which sounds not unlike Kate Bush or Prince at their most pensive. Quick ("The way it happened / The way you left me") reflects on the breakdown of her relationship; yet a song of such pathos is delivered with a sprightly jazz bounce to sugar the pill, and clocks in at just under 2 minutes.
At times The Light of the Sun veers towards self-indulgence, and some of its ideas are not fully followed through. On the whole, however, it is a rather lovely, emotional album that provides a beguiling snapshot of the current life of Jill Scott. --Daryl Easlea
The Rapture Tour is a concert tour and the first headlining tour by American recording artist Anita Baker in support of her hit multi-platinum album Rapture. The tour started in mid-March of 1986, visiting several cities throughout North America and Europe. In 1987, Baker kicked off a North America second leg trek, which included seven dates in Los Angeles at the Beverly Theatre in January, including two and three-night dates in Merrillville, Indiana, New York City, and Miami, Florida. Read more on Last.fm.
Rhythm of Love is the fifth album by the American R&B/soul singer Anita Baker. Released in 1994, the album peaked at #2 on Billboard 200 and #1 on Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop chart. The album was certified double platinum giving Baker her fourth platinum selling album. This is the first studio album by Anita Baker not to be produced by longtime collaborator Michael J. Powell. The album's first single, "Body and Soul", gave Baker her first top 40 hit since 1989. Read more on Last.fm.
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