Do you remember the pie eating scene in the movie “Stand By Me”? Everyone started taunting the fat boy by chanting his nickname, “Lardass”. That scene stuck with me for some reason, and lately it’s been in a fearful, cautionary way.
You see, I did a trial run in my bathing suit last weekend with unfavorable results. Frankly I’m getting tired of people rolling their eyes when I explain that I’m over 40 now and can’t eat like I used to (although apparently I still do). Something must be done. I figure I have a three week window to put myself through an admittedly lax boot camp before my real vacation at the end of the month.
As part of my new regime, I decided that a brisk, post-salad midday walk was a good idea, possibly not giving enough forethought to the body odor repercussions of 87 degrees in work clothes (nothing a surreptitious swipe of deodorant can’t handle). Naturally I took my music with me, having purchased the new Jill Scott album, “The Light of the Sun”, earlier in the week. I had read a favorable review in the paper and decided to give her a whirl. I also read or heard from a couple sources that she recently lost 60 pounds; fear not, she still maintained 200 pounds of womanly curves. I’m not sure how the weight loss information impacts her music or why it was part of the review, but I theorized that maybe she would be delivering subliminal diet tips- or at the very least we were kindred spirits.
Two blocks into my walk, Jill’s opening line in the song “Womanifesto” practically stopped me in my tracks: “Clearly I am not a fat ass.” What? Did she share my paranoia? Has she also been haunted by the pie eating scene in “Stand By Me”? For the next two minutes, Jill went on to describe her various attributes, but she concluded similarly to how she began. I was intrigued.
Over the course of the next couple days, I paid more attention to what was contained in the other 14 songs on Jill’s album, and I concluded that she wrote this album because she had something to say, not necessarily because she wanted to sell gobs of albums (although it has already spent a week at #1).
She talks rather openly about the dissolution of her marriage, how she loves recording but loves going home at night to her son more, and how blessed she feels. We can feel a little of her awkwardness and excitement about meeting someone new, and she does not pull punches when considering her own sexuality. One song is a prayer asking God for healing after love has “burned her raw”.
But I always maintain that good songs generally require more than just good lyrics. Jill has a strong voice that gives great credibility to her words. Most importantly, will listening to her album help you lose a few pounds? If you think that listening to a strong, beautiful, sexual woman will empower you to walk faster or longer, then…maybe. Too soon to tell in my case.
If you like the sound of Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, India.Arie, you should try this album. If you like the raw emotion of Adele, you will also probably find Jill Scott appealing.
Here is the video for “Shame” as a sampler. Enjoy!
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