by N. Esset
“Woman” is soul songstress/poet Jill Scott’s fifth album, and the follow-up to her #1 album “The Light Of The Sun”. It’s more of what we’ve come to expect from Scott, with horns and strings amped up for a lush retro feel complementing the hip hop aesthetic.
We get some of her spoken word on opening cut “Wild Cookie”, the spartan “Lighthouse”, “Willing (Interlude)”, and the breezy guitar-flecked “Say Thank You” with the opening line “I used to be stuck… How about you?” And a squealing guitar coda – a Scott classic already and my favourite.
Lead-single is the enchanting and dreamy jazzy soul “Fool’s Gold” which takes one back to the seventies. “I was living the dream, believing things that just ain’t true, Oh I can’t believe I ever believed in you” she croons. The gently plodding “Prepared” recalls Elton John’s “Bernie And The Jets”. The clap-driven “Run Run Run” is bouncy and upbeat with a gospel fervor, as is “Coming To You”. “Can’t Wait” is a smouldering mid-tempo groove. For more like this, there’s the spectacular “You Don’t Know” (with Scott flitting from tender to fiery against gospel-style harmonies), “Cruisin'”, the hymnal “Back Together”, and “Beautiful Love”, a twinkly retro soul song featuring BJ The Chicago Kid perfectly harmonizing with Scott and recalling Floetry, while “Closure” is a bluesy groove with darting funky horns, a spoken/sung delivery, and a comical coda.