The Light of the Sun

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The Light of the Sun
Studio album by Jill Scott
Released June 21, 2011
Genre Neo soul[1]
Length 59:18
Label Blue Babe, Warner Bros.
Producer Jill Scott, JR Hutson (also exec.), Dre & Vidal, Warryn Campbell
Jill Scott chronology
Live in Paris+
The Light of the Sun
The Original Jill Scott from the Vault, Vol. 1
Singles from The Light of the Sun
  1. "So in Love"
    Released: April 26, 2011
  2. "So Gone (What My Mind Says)"
    Released: October 2011
  3. "Blessed"
    Released: February 28, 2012[2]

The Light of the Sun is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Jill Scott, released June 21, 2011, on Blues Babe Records and Warner Bros. Records. It is her first release by the label, following her four-year hiatus from recording music and departure from former label Hidden Beach Recordings. Production for the album took place at several recording studios and was handled primarily by Scott and collaborator JR Hutson. Music writers have noted the album for its neo soul sound, element of improvisation, and Scott's feminine themes.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 135,000 copies in its first week. It became Scott's first US number-one album and produced three singles, including the Billboard R&B hits "So in Love" and "Blessed". Upon its release, The Light of the Sun received positive reviews from most music critics. Scott is currently promoting the album with her Summer Block Party concert tour.


Following her 2007 album The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, Jill Scott took a hiatus from recording music.[3] She undertook acting roles in the movies Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? and Hounddog, and she had a starring role in the television series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.[4] During her hiatus, she divorced from her husband of six years Lyzel Williams in 2007, became engaged to former drummer Lil' John Roberts in 2008, gave birth to their son Jett Hamilton in 2009, and broke up with Roberts.[3] Scott subsequently ended her hiatus and began sessions for The Light of the Sun.[5]

In 2009, Scott left her former record label Hidden Beach Recordings.[6] During the album's recording, she was countersued by Hidden Beach, which claimed she had left without fulfilling a six-album contract. The lawsuit was settled in 2011, and Hidden Beach plans to release in August the compilation album The Original Jill Scott from the Vault, Vol. 1,[7] the first in a planned album series of Scott's previously unreleased recordings.[3] In 2010, Warner Bros. Records signed Scott to a deal that gave her direct control over her marketing and promotion.[3] In a strategy to re-establish Scott's presence with fans, she signed a multi-tour deal with Live Nation/Haymon Ventures to expand her concert touring. Scott co-headlined a national, 20-date arena tour with recording artist Maxwell, the Maxwell & Jill Scott: The Tour, in 2010.[3]


The album was recorded at several recording studios, including Fever Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California, 9th Street Studios and Threshold Sound & Vision in Santa Monica, California, Studio 609 and The Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Boom Boom Room in Burbank, California, and The Village Studios in West Los Angeles, California.[8] Scott worked with producers Terry Lewis, JR Hutson, and Justice League for the album.[9] Scott first worked with Hutson on her previous album The Real Thing.[3]

In an interview for HitQuarters, Hutson said of Scott's approach for The Light of the Sun, "She’s now in charge of a lot of different things and with it comes a lot of trials and tribulations, and I think her goal is to just give people a very realistic glimpse of where she is in her life right now."[10] Scott has noted songs such as "Hear My Call" and "Quick" as reflective of the "darkest moments" in her life and has said that much of the album's music developed from studio jams and freestyle sessions.[11][12] In an interview for Metro, she called its recording "largely improvised" and elaborated on the process, stating:

I went into a studio with no lyrics, nothing written out. I got together a great group – featuring Adam Blackstone on bass and Randy Bowland on guitar – and just put them in a studio and got them to play while I improvised lyrics. From the first note, you could hear little tunes emerging, and that would inspire me to freestyle lyrics. We call it 'going in'. You go inside yourself, inside your spirit, and you explore. It’s exhausting. When we were done, there was a lot of whooping and hugging and high-fiving. It’s that kind of record.[5]

—Jill Scott

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was released June 21, 2011, in the United States,[13] on Scott's own imprint label, Blues Babe Records, distributed by Warner Bros. Records, her first release by the label.[14] It is the first release under the distribution deal between Blues Babe and Warner Bros.[3] It was released on June 27 in the United Kingdom.[15] On July 28, Scott embarked on her Summer Block Party concert tour,[16] which will conclude on August 28. The tour featured Anthony Hamilton and Mint Condition as opening acts, Doug E. Fresh as host, and DJ Jazzy Jeff on turntables.[17] Scott also promoted the album with performances on the television shows The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Live with Regis and Kelly.[16] She headlined the Essence Music Festival on July 1.[11]

On April 11, Scott released the promotional single "Shame" on her Soundcloud account. It features rapper Eve and vocal group The A Group.[18] Its music video was filmed at the Cecil B. Moore Recreational Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Eve and rapper Black Thought were in attendance. Scott said in an interview for CNN that she spent several Summers at the rec center and that it was in trouble of being torn down.[18] The video premiered April 13, on[19] It was later released as the album's second single in the United Kingdom.[20] The album's first single, "So in Love" featuring Anthony Hamilton, was released on June 26.[21] It spent nine weeks on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, peaking at number 10 on the chart, one week on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 97, and three weeks on Billboard's Radio Songs, peaking at number 71 on the chart.[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 135,000 copies in the United States.[23] It is her first number-one album in the US.[23] It sold 55,000 copies in its second week on the Billboard 200.[24] As of February 19, 2014, The Light of the Sun has sold 473,000 copies in the US.[25]

The album debuted at number 83 on the Canadian Albums Chart.[26] In the Netherlands, the album peaked at number 51 and spent two week on the Mega Album Top 100 chart.[27] In France, it reached number 103 and spent one week on the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique's albums chart.[28] In Belgian Wallonia, the album reached number 99 and spent one week on the Ultratop 50 Albums chart.[29] In the United Kingdom, it debuted at number 69 on the UK Albums Chart and at number 14 on the R&B Albums Chart.[30][31]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau A–[32]
Entertainment Weekly B+[33]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[34]
The Independent 2/5 stars[35]
Paste 9/10[36]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[1]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[37]
Time Out 4/5 stars[38]
Uncut 3/5 stars[39]

The Light of the Sun received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 73, based on 15 reviews.[40] Mikael Wood of Entertainment Weekly complimented its "earnest introspection and earthy textures", and observed "a distinctly early-aughties vibe".[33] Jon Pareles of The New York Times commended Scott's "proudly and forthrightly feminine" themes and called the songs "springy with a sense of improvisation, both in the rhythms and in their elaborate vocal overlays".[41] Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe wrote that the songs, "which alternate between luxurious to fleet and funky, are about the affirmation of self in the face of doubt and conflicted love".[42] The Washington Post's Bill Friskics-Warren noted its "sumptuous orchestration, jazzy flourishes and neo-soul beats", and stated, "The full range of human emotion, from defiance to hurt and hope, is expressed over the course of the album".[43]

Allmusic's Thom Jurek said that "Scott sounds more in control than ever; her spoken and sung phrasing (now a trademark), songwriting, and production instincts are all solid".[4] Holly Gleason of Paste praised Scott's "dexterity in juxtaposing genres, infusing her swooping jazz-singing with near-gospel fervor, kittenish moans and shameless spoken exhortations".[36] Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot stated, "She’s perfected a style that toggles between singing and conversing, and balances more conventional pop structure with spontaneity".[44] The Guardian's Caroline Sullivan noted its "uplifting sung-spoken pieces" and stated, "it's Scott's warm womanliness over the whole album that makes it a must-hear".[34] Kevin Ritchie of Now noted the songs' "lively improvisational vibe" and called Scott "a captivating, blunt performer, here emphasizing classic arrangements and raw emotion over poetic invention".[45]

In a mixed review, Andy Gill of The Independent criticized Scott's lyrics as "a sticky puddle of self-regard" and found its songs "[un]developed much beyond a languid soul-jazz vamp".[35] Rolling Stone writer Jon Dolan gave the album three out of five stars and her "trademark" musical style "warm and inviting, if rarely thrilling, neo-soul".[1] BBC Online's Daryl Easlea wrote that it "at times [...] veers towards self-indulgence, and some of its ideas are not fully followed through", but complimented its "freewheeling vibe" and called it "a lovely, bittersweet album that celebrates the joy of life".[46]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Blessed"   Scott, Davis, Harris Dre & Vidal 3:26
2. "So in Love" (featuring Anthony Hamilton) Scott, Hamilton, Hutson, Jr., Wooten Kelvin Wooten 4:35
3. "Shame" (featuring Eve & The A Group) Scott, Hutson, Jr., Jeffers JR Hutson 3:32
4. "All Cried Out Redux" (featuring Doug E. Fresh) Scott, Hutson, Jr., Moody Jill Scott 2:57
5. "Le BOOM Vent Suite"   Scott, Blackstone, Bowland, McCurdy, Wortham Jill Scott, JR Hutson 9:00
6. "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" (featuring Paul Wall) Scott, Hutson, Jr., Mozee, Slayton, Strother JR Hutson 4:39
7. "Hear My Call"   Scott, Hutson, Jr. JR Hutson 3:46
8. "Some Other Time"   Scott, Jenkins, Mateen Khari Mateen 2:18
9. "Quick"   Scott, Campbell Warryn Campbell 1:49
10. "Making You Wait"   Scott, Hutson, Jr. JR Hutson 4:08
11. "Until Then (I Imagine)"   Scott, Campbell Warryn Campbell 3:41
12. "Missing You"   Scott, Hutson, Jr., Mozee, Pageot JR Hutson 4:11
13. "When I Wake Up"   Scott, Blackstone, Bowland, Robinson, Wortham Jill Scott, JR Hutson 4:13
14. "Womanifesto"   Scott Jill Scott 2:03
15. "Rolling Hills"   Scott, Blackstone, Bowland, McCurdy, Wortham Jill Scott, Adam Blackstone, Randy Bowland, George "Spanky" McCurdy, Eric Wortham 4:47


Credits for The Light of the Sun adapted from Allmusic.[47]


Chart (2011) Peak
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[29] 99
Canadian Albums Chart[26] 83
Dutch Albums Chart[27] 54
French Albums Chart[28] 103
UK Albums Chart[30] 69
UK R&B Albums Chart[31] 14
US Billboard 200[48] 1
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[48] 1


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  2. ^
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  4. ^ a b c Jurek, Thom (June 21, 2011). The Light of the Sun - Jill Scott | AllMusic: Review. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2011-06-22.
  5. ^ a b Lewis, John (June 26, 2011). Jill Scott: My new album was almost completely improvised in the studio | Metro. Retrieved on 2011-06-27.
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External links[edit]