Jill Scott, 'Hidden Beach Presents: The Original Jill Scott From the Vault Vol. 1'

85 Billboard Rating

When Jill Scott emerged on the scene in 2000 with Who Is Jill Scott? Words + Sounds, Vol. 1, a heavy sigh swept across the country. It was the collective exhaling of thousands of women who'd found a kindred spirit; a home girl who understood the depths of their passion, pain, self-determination and other life challenges, housed within a refreshing sanctuary of R&B/soul, hip-hop, gospel and jazz. Scott still has the touch: The Light of the Sun, her first album for Blues Babe/Warner Bros., debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in June. But fans are in for an added treat with this collection from her former label. Comprising new tracks, alternate versions and bonus material recorded during her tenure with the label, the project (available in standard and deluxe editions) transcends the thrown-together, unfinished feeling frequently associated with from-the-vault projects. Hand-picked by Scott and Hidden Beach, standouts include the moving "Wake Up Baby," the empowering "I'm Prettier" and Scott's revamp of the Bill Withers classic "Lovely Day." The raw emotion and range of Scott's voice and her remarkable gift for wordplay are consistent throughout. It's the evolution of a career artist in the making.

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