Jazmine Sullivan, "10 Seconds"

83 Billboard Rating

Affecting soul music often feeds off emotional pain, as Jazmine Sullivan demonstrates when she turns her hurt into a source of relief throughout her latest single. On "10 Seconds," the singer is fed up with a former lover: her tone is miserable yet firm when she belts, "You broke my heart, with all your lies/You really should look for an exit/'Cause you running out of time." An urgent piano line and bluesy guitar tussle with saxophones, strings and a flute, creating a rich sound as Sullivan gives her man to the count of 10 to disappear. Producer Salaam Remi has a knack for spotlighting artist vocals, and the arrangement of "10 Seconds" lets Sullivan shine through the layers of instrumentation. Though few artists could manage such an ambitious vocal turn, Sullivan offers a throwback stunner with a conviction that Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse would respect.