Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Jill Scott 

Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol. 2 (Epic)

One of the significant accomplishments of '90s neosoul was the space it carved out for a new generation of sensitive-yet-sensible sisters; their take-no-mess attitudes, poetic platitudes, and positive affirmations were set to warm, upscale R&B appropriate for the bookstore or the bedroom. As India.Arie proved, such artists are always one misstep away from becoming Oprah set to music, but few balanced things better than Jill Scott, and her third album is at times a beacon to a whole retro R&B movement that's lost its way.

Recorded with her standby crew of Philly Soulquarians, Beautifully Human is beautifully understated, yet beneath the clouds of electric piano and the elegantly funky pulse is the stern backbone of classic songwriting absent from the work of so many of her peers. You can forgive Scott's lapses into New Age gobbledygook ("You must nurture me, please") and excessive sentiment ("Family Reunion," potato salad and all) in exchange for the many gorgeous tunes here, the best of which -- "Golden" and "The Fact Is (I Need You)" -- summon not only the sound but the glory of '70s soul, in their celebrations of life and love. This is keeping it real, for real: being unafraid to face beauty, not just the exigencies of fate, head-on.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Ryan Sickler @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Sebastian Maniscalco @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Lil Rel @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Dec. 9

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation