Husky-voiced singer Jazmine Sullivan's only on her second album, but she's already solidified a reputation as a singer whose best work is deeply personal - and sometimes bitter and angry - relationship songs. On her debut album, 2008's Fearless
, it was the tracks "Need U Bad," "Lions, Tigers & Bears" and "Bust Your Windows," that introduced the world to her strong vocals and fragile emotional state. And on her follow-up, Love Me Back
, released in the U.S. on Nov. 30, 2010, Jazmine's still singing about the ups and downs of relationships, but this time, the song quality is more consistent than her debut release's was.
A Solid Album
Jazmine Sullivan, at the tender age of 23 already has one of the most fiery and commanding voices in all of music. There are few vocalists in any music genre who can match her vocal strength and power. And on Love Me Back
, she picks up right where she left off on her first album, Fearless
. But the difference here is that her voice is more polished now. But even though it's not quite as raw, it still holds a deep well of passion. Probably the best example of this is the album's first single, "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)," a Missy Elliott-produced hip-hop jam where Jaz gets straight to the point on the opening lyrics: "I done went through just about two bags of tissue baby, and you're lookin' at me like you ain't the issue baby, and though I tried to leave I can't stop missin' you baby, and I keep callin', I keep comin' back." The album's chock full of smart, personal lyrics, like on the heartbreak song "10 Seconds" and "U Get On My Nerves," a duet with Ne-Yo about an arguing ex-couple that has break-up to make-up syndrome: they can't live with each other but can't live without one another, either.
But although the lyrics and vocals are pretty much stellar throughout Love Me Back, the album also has its share of imperfections, including occasions when the booming vocals don't mesh well with the lyrics or music. It's hard on some songs to buy into Jazmine being insecure and uncertain when she sounds so self-confident and powerful. But despite the occasional disconnect between the words and vocals, this is a solid album through and through.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the record label. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy