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Jill Scott - 'Collaborations'

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

Jill Scott - 'Collaborations'

Album cover © Hidden Beach Recordings.

The Bottom Line

The concept is simple, but quite clever: take many of the various guest appearances that Jill Scott has made on songs recorded by others, then put them on a single compilation CD so that fans of Jill who haven't heard the songs can listen to them.
But although the concept is clever, a few of these songs are better left forgotten and didn't deserve to see the light of day again. Fortunately of the 14 songs included, only a handful fall into that category. Ultimately, this CD should be treated as what it is: just a way to keep Jill Scott's name out there until she drops an album of new music later in 2007.
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Pros

  • "Daydreamin'," feat. Lupe Fiasco is a masterpiece.
  • "Love Rain," feat. Mos Def is lovely.

Cons

  • "The Rain," feat. Will Smith is wretched.
  • "Let Me," feat. Sergio Mendes and Will.I.Am is awkward.

Description

  • An eclectic mix of collaborations between Jill Scott and other artists.
  • A handful of jazzy tracks.
  • Several hip-hop songs.

Guide Review - Jill Scott - 'Collaborations'

Jill Scott has a joyously powerful, yet refined voice that's pretty much unmistakable and makes her one of the best R&B singers of our time. And over the years - even before she released her first solo album - Jill's been turning in great guest performances.

And now many of those performances have been gathered and released as a 14-track CD titled Collaborations. One of the best things about the CD is how consistent Jill's performances are, despite the various levels of talent of the people she recorded the songs with.

She seemingly put as much energy and effort into songs with big-name artists like the Isley Bros., Al Jarreau, George Benson and Kirk Franklin as she did with lesser-knowns like Jeff Bradshaw, Eric Roberson and Chris Botti. Also impressive is how she's able to flow over practically any music style. She sounds equally comfortable on hip-hop tracks like "Daydreamin,'" and "Love Rain" (with Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def, respectively) and jazz songs like Chris Botti's "Good Morning Heartache," as well as R&B/gospel cuts like Kirk Franklin's "Kingdom Come."

But here's where the album falters: not all of the performances by the other artists are always up to par. For example, "Let Me," featuring Sergio Mendes and Will.I.Am is just a plain ol' bad song, and Will Smith's rapping on "The Rain" is so atrocious, it's practically vomit-inducing. Also, Jill's vocal skills are completely wasted on "Funky For You," which mostly features Bilal and Common.

Some of these tracks can be overlooked, but completely unforgivable is the lack of inclusion of the album version of Roots' "You Got Me." The song's video and original demo are included, on certain editions of the CD available at Best Buy. However, the content can be played only in computer drives, which is a shame if there's not Best Buy in your area or you don't have your own computer.

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