Review: Jazmine Sullivan Is ‘Fearless’

A Dance Track, Positive Love Song Would Make the Album Perfect

On her highly anticipated CD, “Fearless,” Jazmine Sullivan’s smooth vocals, coupled with both old and new school beats, make for a well-balanced album with the story-telling style of the old Motown singers.

“Fearless” begins with Sullivan’s second single, “Bust Your Windows,” an anthem for scorned women that is in heavy rotation on radio and as a music video.

The tango-inspired, dramatic beat leads into Sullivan’s story of revenge on a cheating boyfriend by breaking all the windows on his car.

Her debut single, “Need U Bad,” reached No. 1 on both U.S. Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop charts.

On “Need U Bad,” the voices of Pepa of Salt n’ Pepa and Missy Elliot introduce the reggae ballad, pleading for an old love to return.

The juxtaposition of the bubbly beat and somber lyrics of “My Foolish Heart” makes a song that you don’t know whether to tap your foot or leave your man to.

“Lions, Tigers, and Bears” has a far simpler beat coupled with a fear that many people have had at some time in their lives: the fear of falling in love.

The track is a conversation between Sullivan and a possible boyfriend about the hesitation and fear of letting go and allowing herself to love.

Probably the most hard-hitting song on the album is “Call Me Guilty,” which tells the story of a woman in an abusive relationship who decides the only way out is to kill him before he kills her.

Listening to the experience and emotion in the lyrics gives you goose bumps.

Lightening up the mood, “One Night Stand” comes with a toe-tapping beat and sexy attitude; chronicling Sullivan’s encounter with a guy who had just as much game as she did.

“Hurricane” takes listeners back into slow jam mode with its somber story of an unwanted breakup and trying to put the pieces back together afterward.

And then as if to bring you out of that hurricane, “Dream Big” is introduced by Missy Elliot and takes listeners to a motivational anthem of reaching for your dreams.

The light melody with its techno undertones makes it hard to not feel every word Sullivan soulfully belts out.

Sullivan jumps back into heartbreak mode with “Live a Lie,” the story of an angry woman who catches her boyfriend cheating. She wishes that she hadn’t seen it so that she could continue to live in her blissfully, ignorant bubble.

“Fear” explores all the fears that Sullivan has in her life and career. This song transcends almost all differences, making it highly relatable to almost anyone. “Fear” also offers one of the best displays of Sullivan’s vocal ability on the entire album.

The second would be “In Love With Another Man.” This bare beat allows Sullivan’s talent to shine as she explains to her boyfriend that she’s leaving him for someone else.

Not only is this song a vocal feat for Sullivan, but its lyrics ring true for people who have ever found themselves attracted to someone they knew wasn’t as good as what they have at home.

Sullivan sounds as if this is the one track she threw herself completely in as she shows off her entire vocal range with high highs and low lows.

If “In Love With Another Man” is the shiny wrapping paper on the gift of “Fearless,” “Switch” is the bright red ribbon tied on top.

“Switch” is the soda shoppe sounding track about going on a double date and wanting to switch your date for the friend he bought along.

This track is light and fun. It describes an awkward situation that many people have found themselves in while dating.

Two things are missing from “Fearless” that would have made it the perfect album: a love song and a dance song.

Though a few of the songs have fairly quick tempos, there is no song on the entire album that can be called a dance track or club song.

This may have very well been Sullivan’s intention when recording “Fearless,” but even the deepest of music listeners want to get up and just dance.

Also absent from “Fearless” is a positive love song.

Though heartbreak comes up in a least three songs, there is not song about being in love.

Even if it sounds cheesy, everybody loves love.

And not everyone is going through a breakup or in an abusive relationship.

Other than those two crucial missing elements, “Fearless” is a strong debut for this up and coming songstress.