Album Review: Jazmine Sullivan, Fearless

Jazmine Sullivan

Fearless (released September 23, 2008)

Jazmine, why are you so mad?

After finally dropping your highly anticipated debut, you’d think it would be a cause for celebration. But after listening to you a couple of times, it seems like you have a lot on your mind.

I can tell that some brother has done you wrong. At just 21 years old, you have the pipes of a woman who has gone through some things. And that emotion certainly drives your album. One minute you’re destroying your man’s car on “Bust Your Windows” and the next you’re seconds away from blowing his head off on “Call Me Guilty.” The strong songwriting and production, which invokes, gasp, musical instruments instead of the played-out sythesized sound you hear on the radio, makes the violence sound mighty sweet.

You also show your vulnerable side. “Need U Bad” aches with emotion and tracks like “Fear” and “Lions, Tigers and Bears” show your insecurities with both relationships and your budding career. That theme of fear flows through the entire CD and ties all the tracks together. That’s what makes an album. You could have just thrown together a bunch of songs from ‘hot’ producers, but you’re wiser than that.

Maybe you’re upset because a couple of the tracks tend to blend together. And maybe you question the inclusion of “After the Hurricane.” It’s a nice song, no doubt, but it’s produced by Stargate so it sounds like everything else on the radio right now, down to the repetitive hook saying ‘hurricane’ a million times. It hurts the uniqueness of the album.

But Jazmine, you’re still breath of fresh air. So stop stressing out.
And stop busting up cars.

Best tracks: Need U Bad, Bust Your Windows, Lions, Tigers and Bears

4 stars out of 5

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