I came up with the idea to review albums starting with albums from 1 year ago and continue on until whenever I feel I’m done with reviewing albums. The albums are random choices, ones that I enjoyed or albums I just wanted to check out.
The first album I decided to review was released on January 13, 2015. It is an album that I highly anticipated prior to its release and have enjoyed since its debut. That album is Reality Show by Jazmine Sullivan.
In January 2011, Jazmine Sullivan announced that she would be leaving the music industry. After this announcement, many fans, including myself, were left shocked and disappointed. Jazmine never really explained why she no longer wanted to make music besides the fact that to her, “it wasn’t fun anymore”. Jazmine was going through many things in her personal life and that was reflected in her 2010 album release, Love Me Back. Jazmine’s personal life was effecting her music career so much that nearing the album release of Love Me Back, Jazmine says in an interview with Billboard, “I didn’t give it a push at all. I didn’t give it a chance and a lot of that was due to the personal issues I was going through. It’s a shame cause it was a good album.”
Fast forward to 2014, Jazmine announces that she was returning to music after a 3 year hiatus. The return came with a couple of performances at festivals and other small events. Jazmine later revealed she was working on an album titled Reality Show. At the top of 2015, Jazmine releases her long-awaited third album, Reality Show. I remember watching a video of her singing one of the songs from the album in an NPR session (I will post that video at the end) and wondering where the album was. I quickly hopped on Twitter, went to her Twitter page and realized she had released the album at midnight. I immediately bought it and after giving the album one full listen, I was in love.
Jazmine begins the album with the first single off the album, “Dumb” featuring Meek Mill. “Dumb” is not one that I listened to very often but its a good radio single and has a great beat. The next song on the album is a personal favorite and probably the overall favorite for many, “Mascara”. “Mascara” was one of the best written songs of 2015 if you ask me. It’s a modern tale of the young women of the social media generation. Jazmine plays on words and delivers many double entendre’s throughout the song as she repeats, “that’s why I never leave the house without makeup on”. Moving on to another good one, the sixth song on the album, “Let It Burn”. “Let It Burn” is a Grammy-nominated masterpiece which uses a sample from the classic song “Ready or Not” by R&B group, After 7. The beat, produced by Key Wane, maintains the essence of the original song and is also able to add a modern, Jazmine Sullivan twist to it. Jazmine floats through song with ease, making it easily one of the best songs from the album after the first listen. The eighth song, “Forever Don’t Last”, was the second single from the album. Another standout, Jazmine allows “Forever Don’t Last” to be one of her more personal records on the album. “Forever doesn’t last too long these days,” she exclaims in the chorus, showing off her vocal range that is almost unmatched in the modern era. Jazmine ends the album with my second personal favorite, “Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)”. “Masterpiece” is just flat-out beautiful and is a song geared towards the women who felt they may have lost themselves along the way. Jazmine sings the song with confidence and the listener can hear through her tone that she now feels powerful and in control of herself once again.
Reality Show is practically flawless and is a hell of a way for Jazmine to re-introduce herself to the music industry. Jazmine Sullivan is a gem and we don’t deserve her, but time after time she gives us great music. I will forever be a Jazmine Sullivan fan and I will continue to support her music. If you haven’t listened to Reality Show yet, I suggest you do that. I will post some links to videos and songs from the album in case you don’t want to listen to the entire album at the moment.
Before the album release, Jazmine had random performances leading up to the album. This is the NPR session I mentioned earlier, great video.
Jazmine performed for Vibe Magazine after the release of the album, where she performed “Mascara” and a few other songs. She sings with such ease.
I decided I won’t post the songs from the album but I will give some suggestions.
Jazmine Sullivan– Reality Show – Mascara, Silver Lining, Let It Burn, Forever Don’t Last, Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)
Thanks for reading!