Wednesday, September 24, 2008

JaZmine Sullivan - Fearless (Album Review)

I had been thinking about doing album reviews but I didn't know if I really felt like giving the effort - Seems like that would interfere with my laziness. But, I decided to review the new JaZmine Sullivan album Fearless.1. "Bust Your Windows"
This is her second single. I kind of want to like this song. Kind of. I really like the beat. According to wiki it was produced by Salaam Remi and samples "Bad Man Waltz" by Salaam Remi... Whatever that means, lol. Her voice isn't as grating on this song as the first single ("Need U Bad") but it's still not great. As for the lyrical content, it's about what you would expect. You broke my heart/So I broke your car/You caused me pain/So I did the same. Nothing really profound here.

2. "Need U Bad"
I hate this song. I just absolutely hate it. Missy Elliott's ja-fake-in thing she does irks me. JaZmine's voice irks me. The lyrics irk me. I need you bad I can't take this pain/Boy, I'm 'bout to go insane. GROSS. I'll say something positive though... It's catchy in that annoying way that you'll find yourself screeching singing it later.

3. "My Foolish Heart"
My guess is this is filler. It's forgettable in every way. Matter of fact, I had to start it over because I didn't realize it had come on while I was editing the intro of this review.

4. "Lions, Tigers, & Bears"
I'll admit... I love this song. I love it so much that it got the repeat treatment weeks ago. I love the orchestral arrangement in the background - Salaam Remi does it again! The lyrics really talk to that young and girlish side of me. I'm not scared of lions and tigers and bears (oh my!)/But I'm scared of loving you.... Why do we love love when love seems to hate us? She got me on this one, I won't lie. Her voice still sounds nasally and whiny but I ignore it.

5. "Call Me Guilty"
The song opens with a phone call between JaZmine and her mom where she tells her mom, "Mom, he did it again... He hit me." The song goes on a hypothetical journey where she wonders if she should kill her abusive boyfriend. I almost want to give her props for boldly taking on a subject usually ignored in mainstream R&B and not trying to cover it up in metaphors. You know exactly what she's saying. The lyrics are straight forward: 'Cause if you knew what he did to me/I know I would get your sympathy/So if they catch me/I still ain't sorry/Just lock me up and/Call me guilty. The song itself, however, isn't all that interesting. It's actually quite boring.

6. "One Night Stand"
Hmm... I'm on the fence about this song. The chorus is pretty catchy. It starts off slow and forgettable but when it picks up it's almost infectious. Her voice is also less annoying on it. Content wise, she sings of a hook-up that went further than she intended. He was supposed to be a one night stand.

7. "After the Hurricane"
Predictable and boring. The way you broke my heart/and now I'm left with the pain/After the hurricane... Yawn.

8. "Dream Big"
More Missy Elliott... Yay! (/sarcasm) The song is about exactly what the title makes you think it's about... having big dreams! She's going to take that big journey to the magical land of Los Angeles and give it her best shot! The song sounds like something scrapped from a Disney Channel original movie starring one of the Mowry siblings or Raven-Symoné or one of the other ethnic people they allow into their programming. Maybe it'd fit in nicely in another Cheeetah Girls sequel.

9. "Live a Lie"
I had to listen to this song like 20x (exaggeration) to make sure I understood what was going on. She mumbles/whines through the whole song and it's boring so I kept getting confused. Here's what I got: She got drunk one night and went to her boo's house (I think?) and caught him with some chick and she wish she hadn't. She'd rather live a lie. I guess she's operating on ignorance is bliss... Fuck living a lie. I'd rather be heartbroken than played, BUT THAT'S JUST ME.

10. "Fear"
The song contradicts my personal jam, "Lions, Tigers & Bears" because in that song she runs through how she's not scared of much except loving her boo but this song says she's scared of basically everything. Which is it? At first listen, the song probably seems familiar to most because she samples a Stevie Wonder song: I Was Made To Love Her. As much as Stevie samples touch my heart, I couldn't get into this song.

11. "In Love With Another Man"
This is the other song that everyone else seems to like... Everyone but me. It seems she's going for more a bluesy feel as she (again) whines over the track and tells her poor lover that she is sorry but she is in love with someone else. I guess I can see why people would like this song but it just doesn't work for me. It mainly comes down to the fact that her voice couldn't pull off that bluesy agony she was going for. As much as I hate to say it - Fantasia Barrino probably would have killed this song (and I swear, I can't STAND Fantasia Barrino.)

12. "Switch!"
The most playful of the tracks. It has an old school feel to it and it's pretty cute. It's about how she thinks her and her man should SWITCH! She likes his best friend and is offering up her female friend. Like I said, the song is cute.... But not cute enough to keep when you hate the rest of the album (save for one song.)

In case you didn't notice, I did not like the album. It seems that most other reviewers loved it but I am not on that train. It's not because I'm not her target audience - I'm her age, I'm a black woman, I'm a man-hater/lover, I dig R&B, I hate Rihanna, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill changed my life... I'm supposed to like this shit but I DON'T. Plus, it's lacking in depth. Pretty much every song is about some dude or at least references lurve. I swear people are so thirsty for someone with a shred of talent that they give credit where it is not due. Like my friend Lenoir Tyrannical says, "she sounds like she's got a chest cold." ...And if I hear/read one more person comparing her to Lauryn Hill I will bust some heads till the white meat shows! I even heard Phyllis Hyman comparisons... LIKE, SERIOUSLY? WTF? I give her MAD PROPS though for being a songwriter. But if you don't like my review, read Allmusic's - they gave her 4.5 stars... I'd give the ONE SONG I'll keep 4 stars.

Worst of all though, I HATE THE WAY SHE SPELLS HER NAME. IT'S J-A-S-M-I-N-E. Damnit.

(There's a bonus track but I didn't care enough about it to look for it. Also, if you want to hear something good - Check this out.)


Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

nice review

dont like fiorst song title, my bipolar ex did that

Eb the Celeb said...

I am loving the album... just feel like the A&R person has the tracklisitng all wrong... the album just doesn't flow the way it is now... I actually switched it around when I did my review and I love the album 10 times more

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

it's just a mediocre cd

@torrance...stop putting that woman's business out there like that...