Jazmine Sullivan

Fearless (J)

Rating: NNNN

What’s with this flood of fierce and earthy female R&B singers coming from the major labels?

Jazmine Sullivan is a Missy Elliott protege already enjoying significant success with her recently released debut album, and this disc actually deserves it.

On a production level, she’s pulling from a pleasingly wide range of influences – dropping bits of doo-wop, roots reggae, Motown and hip-hop into the mix while maintaining a consistent feel. She’s got a strong voice, and thankfully it hasn’t covered up with overproduction.

Lyrically, she’s dealing with the traditional themes of love and heartbreak, but here the heroine shoots the abusive boyfriend and breaks the car windows of the philanderer. A nice break from the meek studio creations which have been pushed on us for far too long.

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