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The Light of the Sun

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The Light of the Sun
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 21, 2011 (2011-06-21)
GenreNeo soul[1]
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

The Light of the Sun is the fourth studio album by American singer Jill Scott. It was recorded after Scott's four-year break from her music career and departure from her former label, Hidden Beach Recordings. The Light of the Sun was recorded at several studios and produced primarily by Scott and JR Hutson, a songwriter and producer who had previously worked on her 2007 record The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. Music journalists noted The Light of the Sun for its neo soul sound, element of improvisation, and Scott's feminine themes.

The Light of the Sun was released on June 21, 2011, by Scott's imprint label, Blue Babe Records. It received positive reviews from most critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States, where it sold 135,000 copies in its first week. The album became Scott's first American number-one record, and as of March 2015, it had sold 478,000 copies in the US. It was promoted with three singles: "So in Love", "So Gone (What My Mind Says)", and "Blessed". Scott also promoted the album with her Summer Block Party concert tour.


Following her 2007 album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, Scott took a break from recording music.[2] 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.[3] During her break, she divorced her husband of six years Lyzel Williams in 2007, became engaged to the former drummer Lil' John Roberts in 2008, gave birth to their son Jett Hamilton in 2009, and broke up with Roberts.[2] Scott subsequently began sessions for The Light of the Sun.[4]

In 2009, Scott left her former record label Hidden Beach Recordings.[5] During the album's recording, she was sued by Hidden Beach, which claimed she had left without fulfilling a six-album contract. The lawsuit was settled in 2011, with Hidden Beach planning to release the compilation album The Original Jill Scott from the Vault, Vol. 1 in August,[6] the first in a planned album series of Scott's previously unreleased recordings.[2] In 2010, Warner Bros. Records signed Scott to a deal that gave her direct control over her marketing and promotion.[2] 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 the recording artist Maxwell, called Maxwell & Jill Scott: The Tour, in 2010.[2]


The album was recorded at several recording studios, including Fever Recording Studios in North Hollywood, 9th Street Studios and Threshold Sound & Vision in Santa Monica, Studio 609 and The Studio in Philadelphia, The Boom Boom Room in Burbank and The Village Studios in West Los Angeles.[7] Scott worked with producers Terry Lewis, JR Hutson and Justice League for the album.[8] Scott had first worked with Hutson on her previous album The Real Thing.[2]

In an interview for HitQuarters, Hutson said of Scott's approach to 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."[9] 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.[10][11] In an interview for Metro, she said of the "largely improvised" recording process:

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.[4]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was released in the United States on June 21, 2011,[12] on Scott's own imprint label, Blues Babe Records, distributed by Warner Bros. Records, her first release by the label.[13] It is the first release under the distribution deal between Blues Babe and Warner Bros.[2] It was released on June 27 in the United Kingdom.[14] In the first week of release, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 135,000 copies in the US.[15] It was her first number-one album there.[15] It sold 55,000 copies the following week,[16] and by May 2015, it had sold 479,000 copies.[17]

The album's first single, "So in Love" featuring Anthony Hamilton, was released on June 26.[18] 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.[19] This had been preceded by the April release of "Shame" on Scott's SoundCloud account, featuring rapper Eve and vocal ensemble The A Group.[20] Its music video was filmed at the Cecil B. Moore Recreational Center in Philadelphia, where Eve and the rapper Black Thought were in attendance. Scott said in an interview for CNN that she spent several summers at the recreation center and that it was at risk of being demolished.[20] The video was premiered on April 13 on[21] It was later released as the album's second single in the United Kingdom.[22]

Scott promoted the album with her Summer Block Party concert tour, beginning on July 28, 2012,[23] and concluding on August 28. The tour featured Anthony Hamilton and Mint Condition as opening acts, Doug E. Fresh as a host, and Jazzy Jeff as the DJ.[24] 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.[23] She headlined the Essence Music Festival on July 1.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[27]
The Guardian4/5 stars[28]
The Independent2/5 stars[29]
MSN Music (Expert Witness)A–[30]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[1]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[32]
Time Out4/5 stars[33]
Uncut3/5 stars[34]

The Light of the Sun received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 73, based on 15 reviews.[26] Mikael Wood from Entertainment Weekly complimented its "earnest introspection and earthy textures", and observed "a distinctly early-aughties vibe".[27] In The New York Times, Jon Pareles praised Scott's "proudly and forthrightly feminine" themes and said the songs are "springy with a sense of improvisation, both in the rhythms and in their elaborate vocal overlays".[35] The Washington Post's Bill Friskics-Warren noted its "sumptuous orchestration, jazzy flourishes and neo-soul beats", and wrote, "The full range of human emotion, from defiance to hurt and hope, is expressed over the course of the album."[36] 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".[3] In the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot wrote, "She's perfected a style that toggles between singing and conversing, and balances more conventional pop structure with spontaneity."[37] Caroline Sullivan in The Guardian noted its "uplifting sung-spoken pieces" and wrote, "It's Scott's warm womanliness over the whole album that makes it a must-hear."[28]

In a mixed review, Andy Gill from The Independent criticized Scott's lyrics as "a sticky puddle of self-regard" and found its songs "[un]developed much beyond a languid souljazz vamp".[29] Rolling Stone writer Jon Dolan gave the album three out of five stars and called her "trademark" musical style "warm and inviting, if rarely thrilling, neo-soul".[1] Daryl Easlea of BBC Online 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".[38]

Track listing[edit]

1."Blessed"Dre & Vidal3:28
2."So in Love" (featuring Anthony Hamilton)
3."Shame" (featuring Eve and The A Group)JR Hutson3:33
4."All Cried Out Redux" (featuring Doug E. Fresh)
5."Le BOOM Vent Suite"
6."So Gone (What My Mind Says)" (featuring Paul Wall)
7."Hear My Call"
  • Scott
  • Hutson
8."Some Other Time"
10."Making You Wait"
  • Scott
  • Hutson
11."Until Then (I Imagine)"
  • Scott
  • Campbell
12."Missing You"
  • Scott
  • Hutson
  • Mozee
  • Ricky Pageot
13."When I Wake Up"
  • Scott
  • Blackstone
  • Bowland
  • James Darrell Robinson
  • Wortham
15."Rolling Hills"
  • Scott
  • Blackstone
  • Bowland
  • McCurdy
  • Wortham
  • Scott
  • Blackstone
  • Bowland
  • McCurdy
  • Wortham
  • Hutson[a]


  • ^a signifies a co-producer


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[39]

  • The A Group – background vocals
  • Nathaniel Alford – engineer
  • Yameen Allworld – background vocals
  • Sherlen Archibald – publicity
  • Ashaunna Ayars – marketing
  • Todd Bergman – assistant
  • Michelle Bishop – violin
  • Adam Blackstone – bass guitar, electric bass, keyboards, producer
  • Randy Bowland – 7-string electric guitar, guitar, producer
  • Bruce Buechner – engineer, production engineer
  • Luke Burland – publicity
  • Sandra Campbell – project coordinator
  • Warryn Campbell – instrumentation, producer, programming, vocal arrangement
  • Chris Chambers – publicity
  • Jeff Chestek – string engineer
  • Sean Cooper – sound design
  • Eli Davis – production coordination
  • Kimre Davis – production coordination
  • Aaron Draper – background vocals, percussion
  • Dré – producer
  • Corte Ellis – background vocals
  • Luis Eric – horn
  • Teresa Evans – production coordination
  • Rick Friedrick – assistant
  • Larry Gold – string arrangements, string conductor
  • Steven Gomillion – photography
  • Robert Greene – make-up
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering
  • Andre Harris – engineer
  • Donald Hayes – horn
  • J.R. Hutson – A&R, background vocals, engineer, executive producer, instrumentation, keyboards, producer, scratching
  • Bruce Irvine – engineer
  • Liza Joseph – A&R
  • Brandon Kilgour – engineer
  • Emma Kummrow – violin
  • Dennis Leupold – photography
  • Damien Lewis – assistant
  • Jennie Lorenzo – cello
  • Glen Marchese – engineer, mixing
  • Khari Mateen – instrumentation, producer
  • Luigi Mazzocchi – violin
  • George "Spanky" McCurdy – drums, producer
  • Susan Moses – stylist
  • Jairus Mozee – bass, guitar
  • Peter Nocella – viola
  • Rickey Pageot – keyboards
  • Charles Parker – violin
  • Vanessa Parr – engineer
  • Dave Pensado – mixing
  • Rebecca Proudfoot – A&R
  • Zachariah Redding – assistant
  • Lacy Redway – hair stylist
  • Tim Reid – marketing
  • James Chul Rim – engineer, vocal engineer
  • "V" Roane – background vocals
  • John Roberts – drums, horn
  • Montez Roberts – assistant engineer, engineer
  • James Darrell Robinson – drums, producer
  • Eric Rousseau – sound design
  • Jill Scott – A&R, art direction, background vocals, executive producer, producer, vocal arrangement
  • Phillip "Logann" Scott III – engineer
  • Paris Strother – keyboards
  • Sean Tallman – engineer
  • Phil Tan – mixing
  • Vidal – producer
  • Courtney Walter – design
  • Ayana Webb – background vocals
  • Kelvin Wooten – bass guitar, drum programming, guitar, keyboards, piano, producer
  • Eric Wortham – keyboards, producer


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dolan, Jon (June 21, 2011). "The Light of the Sun by Jill Scott". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mitchell, Gail (June 24, 2011). Jill "Scott: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Jurek, Thom (June 21, 2011). "The Light of the Sun - Jill Scott". AllMusic. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Lewis, John (June 26, 2011). "Jill Scott: My new album was almost completely improvised in the studio". Metro. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Belloni, Matthew (February 7, 2010). "Jill Scott Sued By Label". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  6. ^ "Hidden Beach Presents: The Original Jill Scott From The Vault Vol. 1" (Press release). Hidden Beach Recordings. July 14, 2011. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  7. ^ Jill Scott - Light Of The Sun CD Album. CD Universe. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Hildebrand, Lee (August 9, 2010). "Multitalented Jill Scott focuses on musical tour". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  9. ^ "Interview With JR Hutson". HitQuarters. May 10, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Kennedy, Gerrick D. (June 29, 2011). "Jill Scott debuts at No. 1 and discusses how she 'stopped believing in love'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  11. ^ Blue Babe Foundation (June 2011). "JILL SCOTT BIO". Press release. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  12. ^ Kelley, Frannie (June 12, 2011). "First Listen: Jill Scott, 'The Light Of The Sun'". NPR. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Caulfield, Keith (June 22, 2011). "Jill Scott Aiming for First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  14. ^ (June 27, 2011). "This Week's New Music Releases: June 27 2011". NME. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  15. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (June 29, 2011). "Jill Scott Celebrates First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  16. ^ Jacobs, Allen. "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 7/3/2011". Hip Hop DX. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  17. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on May 15, 2015.
  18. ^ So In Love (Feat. Anthony Hamilton): Jill Scott: MP3 Downloads. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  19. ^ "So in Love – Jill Scott". Billboard. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  20. ^ a b Hoye, Sarah (March 24, 2011). "Jill Scott returns to her roots for new music video". CNN. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  21. ^ "Jill Scott's 'Shame' Video World Premiere". Essence. April 13, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  22. ^ "Shame by Jill Scott (Released 1 June 2011"). HMV Digital. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  23. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (June 2, 2011). "Jill Scott Sets 'Summer Block Party' Tour Dates". Billboard. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  24. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (June 2, 2011). "Jill Scott To Tour With Doug E. Fresh, DJ Jazzy Jeff & More". HipHopDX. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  25. ^ "The Light Of The Sun by Jill Scott reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  26. ^ a b The Light of the Sun Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic. Metacritic. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  27. ^ a b Wood, Mikael (June 15, 2011). "The Light of the Sun review - Jill Scott Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  28. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (June 24, 2011). "Jill Scott: The Light of the Sun – review". The Guardian. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  29. ^ a b Gill, Andy (June 24, 2011). "Album: Jill Scott, The Light Of The Sun (Blues Babe/Warner Bros)". The Independent. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  30. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 19, 2011). Jill Scott/Dave Alvin. MSN Music. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  31. ^ Gleason, Holly (June 27, 2011). "Jill Scott: The Light of the Sun". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  32. ^ Baxley, Jaymie (June 20, 2011). "Jill Scott: The Light of the Sun". Slant Magazine. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  33. ^ Sless-Kitain, Areif (July 27, 2011). "Jill Scott - The Light of the Sun". Time Out. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  34. ^ "Review: The Light of the Sun". Uncut. London. August 2011. p. 98.
  35. ^ Pareles, Jon (June 20, 2011). "New Music From Jill Scott, Chris Dingman and Justin Moore". The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  36. ^ Friskics-Warren, Bill (June 27, 2011). "Quick spin: ‘The Light of the Sun’ by Jill Scott". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  37. ^ Kot, Greg (June 30, 2011). "Jill Scott album review; Light of the Sun reviewed". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  38. ^ Easlea, Daryl (June 27, 2011). "Review of Jill Scott - The Light of the Sun". BBC. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  39. ^ Anon. (2011). The Light of the Sun (CD liner notes). Jill Scott. Warner Bros. Recordsid=527941-2.
  40. ^ " – Jill Scott – The Light of the Sun" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  41. ^ "Albums : Top 100". Jam!. June 30, 2011. Archived from the original on July 1, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  42. ^ " – Jill Scott – The Light of the Sun" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  43. ^ " – Jill Scott – The Light of the Sun". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  44. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  45. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  46. ^ "Jill Scott Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  47. ^ "Jill Scott Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  48. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2011". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  49. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2011". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.

External links[edit]