Our favorite girl next door, Jazmine Sullivan put on a sold-out worthy performance this past Thursday, April 1, at the House of Blues. The jazzy, R&B singer, known mostly for her ability to steal any show vocally, no matter the production, did not disappoint. The venue was packed with lively fans not afraid to send up a few "amen". If you've ever listened to a Jazmine record you understand her thick tone and soulful sound completely calls for praise.
Jazmine, who announced her hiatus in 2011, returned to her faithful fan base, citing her having a "reason to sing again." Her latest album, Reality Show, aptly based on her consumption of reality TV during her 4-year intermission, was well received prompting, 29,000 copies sold in the fist week and debuted at No.1 on Billboard's R&B Albums, No. 2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Her first single, Dumb, featuring Philly pal, Meek Mill showed well on charts and in the broken hearts of many.
Sullivan, who feels more like you older, cooler cousin sung, danced and embraced her fans. She shared stories of a past abusive relationship and how she had to learn and love herself again. That same self-love realization lead to songs like, Masterpiece (Mona Lisa), a song about self-love and letting your own light shine. But, a trip down memory lane helped to pen the gut wrenching Forever Don't Last and Dumb Girl. She reminded us it was okay to have been a dumb girl as long as you didn't stay one.
Sullivan's ability to write songs from a different point of view, lead to my two personal favorite performances: Mascara, showing both sides of the coin for a self-proclaimed bad-bitch and Brand New, jammed the sorrows of any down chick left by the wayside once their beaux found his own success.
Her vocals are undeniable, but her performance was a bit subpar, contradicting the space left in the room. There seemed to still be an air of discontentment with industry duties, like touring. On the other hand, Jazmine has made a discography based on bad decisions and heartache. I wonder if they still weigh her down.
Being in the media's eye, once again, has left her to critiques about her image, adding to past self-esteem issues. And only a few weeks earlier, before Houston was added to her tour, did she tweet about the loss of a close aunt.
Where she lacked in energy, understandably, she makes up for in consistency. Good or bad, depending on your perception, J. Sulli (as I like to call her) has managed to stay afloat in a sinking R&B boat and has effortlessly kept a loyal fan-base hanging on. Her armies of faithful cannot be wrong. Many may disagree with the route she chooses to take with her career but none can deny her talent.
Jasmine has a superstar presence and her voice commands reverence, in the studio and on stage. Her star is bright and I believe she represents the falling away of industry standards on how our artist are "suppose" to look.
~ Crystal Soloman