The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3

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The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3
Jill Scott - The Real Thing album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2007 (2007-09-25)
Recorded2006-2007; Various recording locations
GenreNeo soul[1]
LabelHidden Beach
ProducerJill Scott, Abduology, Adam Blackstone, Dre & Vidal, Jacob J. Gold, C. Harris, Shafiq Husayn, JR Hutson, Om'Mas Keith, Khari Mateen, Steve McKie, Jesse Owenz, C. "Spaun" Reeves, Omari Shabazz, Stokley, Scott Storch
Jill Scott chronology
The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3
Live in Paris+
Alternate cover
Deluxe limited edition cover
Deluxe limited edition cover
Singles from The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3
  1. "Hate on Me"
    Released: August 2007
  2. "My Love"
    Released: November 2007
  3. "Whenever You're Around"
    Released: 2008

The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 is the third studio album by American R&B/soul recording artist and actress Jill Scott. It was recorded at Bazz Studio, The Cosmic Dust Recorders, Currie House Studio, Glenwood Place Studios, Headquarters Studio, The House That Quest Built, Keswick Studios, Kush Studio, Sigma Sound Studios, The Studio, Studio 609, and Studio Atlantis.[2] It was released on September 25, 2007, by Hidden Beach Recordings to positive reviews from music critics.

On certain editions of the album, recordings of live performances of "Golden" and "The Fact Is (I Need You)" are available as bonus tracks. The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 is also available in a deluxe limited edition containing a bonus DVD. On March 17, 2009, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It was Scott's last release on Hidden Beach Recordings before her exit from the label in 2010. This is also the final installment of the Words and Sounds series.


In an interview with HitQuarters, producer JR Hutson commented on the creation of the song "Whenever You're Around":

"I tried to take a real Quincy Jones approach to that record. I brought in a lot of musicians and we were just vibing to a few different things, and that was one of the tracks that stood out to me in the jam session that day. So I [...] tweaked and tweaked the track, edited it [...] and reformatted it, and then eventually ended up with that track."[3]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 and number two on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling about 148,000 copies in its first week,[4] Scott's second highest debut on both charts after 2004's Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2. The album was eventually certified gold by the RIAA on March 17, 2009,[5] thus far selling 663,000 copies in the US alone.[6] Elsewhere, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 charted at number sixty-five in the Netherlands,[7] number seventy-nine in the United Kingdom,[8] and number 128 in France.[9]


Lead single "Hate on Me" is an unusual song for Scott, stepping out of her soft and smooth soul style and into a bigger, jazzier, more sassy style. In the album sampler, Scott says it is addressed to a group of people she found online who were "hating on her".[10] Amber Riley's character Mercedes Jones performed the song on the Glee episode titled "Throwdown", aired October 14, 2009. "My Love" was released as the second single, for which a music video premiered on September 2, 2007. The third and final single was "Whenever You're Around" and features George Duke. While there was no video shot, the promotional single was successful at R&B radio stations, reaching number fifty-six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number sixteen on the Hot Adult R&B Airplay.[11][12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
About.com4/5 stars[13]
AllMusic4/5 stars[14]
The Guardian4/5 stars[15]
Mojo4/5 stars[16]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)A−[17]
Q3/5 stars[18]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[19]
Slant Magazine3/5 stars[20]
Uncut4/5 stars[22]

The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 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 79, based on 11 reviews.[18] Uncut magazine commended Scott's funky sensibilities and attempt to expand on the "tempo-and libido" of her 2004 album Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2.[22] Mojo called the album "her most intense, but perhaps also her most pleasurable excursion yet."[16] In his review for MSN Music, Robert Christgau said that Scott substantiates the songs' sexual content through her phrasing, timbre, and lyrics about physical pleasure, and that the album is musically consistent because of "a contour and a groove that suits its well-inhabited breakup concept."[17]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Let It Be" (Jill Scott, Khari Mateen) – 1:50
  2. "The Real Thing" (Scott, Andre Harris, Vidal Davis, Jason Boyd, Ryan Toby) – 3:24
  3. "Hate on Me" (Scott, Adam Blackstone, Steve McKie) – 3:29
  4. "Come See Me" (Scott, JR Hutson) – 4:59
  5. "Crown Royal" (Scott, Hutson) – 1:48
  6. "Epiphany" (Scott, Scott Storch) – 2:31
  7. "My Love" (Scott, Blackstone, McKie) – 3:50
  8. "Insomnia" (Scott, Omari Shabazz) – 3:55
  9. "How It Make You Feel" (Scott, Stokley Williams) – 4:32
  10. "Only You" (Scott, Tyrone Benjamin Goldstein II) – 3:32
  11. "Whenever You're Around" (featuring George Duke) (Scott, Hutson) – 4:05
  12. "Celibacy Blues" (Scott, Blackstone, Randy Bowland) – 2:15
  13. "All I" (Scott, Blackstone) – 4:56
  14. "Wanna Be Loved" (Scott, Hutson) – 3:22
  15. "Breathe" (Scott, Om'Mas Keith, Shafiq Husayn) – 2:06



  1. ^ Abram, Malcolm X (October 21, 2007). "Singer has love and sex on mind". Akron Beacon Journal. p. E5 E. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  2. ^ "Jill Scott - Real Thing Words and Sounds, Vol. 3 CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  3. ^ "Interview With JR Hutson". HitQuarters. May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  4. ^ Hasty, Katie (October 3, 2007). "Rascal Flatts Races To No. 1 In Debut-Heavy Week". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 4, 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. March 17, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Gail (April 5, 2011). "Hidden Beach Slates New Jill Scott Album for Spring". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Jill Scott – The Real Thing – Words And Sounds Vol. 3" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Jill Scott – The Real Thing – Words & Sounds – Vol 3". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Jill Scott – The Real Thing – Words And Sounds Vol. 3" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  10. ^ ""The Real Thing" – In Stores September 25, 2007". Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2007.
  11. ^ "Whenever You're Around – Jill Scott". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  12. ^ "Hot Adult R&B Airplay – Chart Listing For The Week Of Sep 20 2008". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  13. ^ review
  14. ^ Allmusic review
  15. ^ The Guardian review
  16. ^ a b "Review: The Real Thing". Mojo: 104. January 2008.
  17. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (February 2008). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Metacritic
  19. ^ Rolling Stone review
  20. ^ Slant Magazine review
  21. ^ Sputnikmusic review
  22. ^ a b "Review: The Real Thing". Uncut: 100. January 2008.
  23. ^ a b "The Real Thing: Words and Sounds, Vol. 3 – Jill Scott". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 30, 2011.