Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton | Huntington Bank Pavilion | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sun., July 31, 7 p.m. 2011

Jill Scott has gone through a lot in the four years since her previous album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. She endured a rough parting of ways with her original label, Hidden Beach; she gave birth to a child fathered by her former drummer, Lil John Roberts; and just two years after divorcing her husband, she called off an engagement to Roberts. On the new The Light of the Sun (Blues Babe/Warner Brothers), Scott is alternately defiant, self-assured, angry, inspirational, seeking, and content. That's hardly surprising—no matter what she's dealing with in her private life, Scott has always sounded strong on record, even on the most self-pitying material. On certain songs she funnels her powerhouse voice into tightly shaped melodies—like "Blessed," where her stretched and stuttering syllables sometimes make her singing sound like a hip-hop DJ messing with a soul record, and "So in Love," a thumping neo-70s duet with Anthony Hamilton—but on most of the album she opts for a looser style, running free over wide-open vamps with phrases that range from languid to declamatory to jazzy. Though this is well-­traveled territory for Scott, the new songs are better representations of complex emotions; she makes that especially clear with "Womanifesto," a spoken-word retort to the objectification of women. Peter Margasak

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