Album: Jill Scott, The Light Of The Sun (Blues Babe/Warner Bros)

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The Independent Culture

Jill Scott is perhaps best known now as Precious Ramotswe in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and spends an increasing amount of time acting.

Perhaps too much time: judging by The Light Of The Sun, she's expending precious little energy on songwriting and recording, allowing her natural inclination to extemporise far too free a rein. Hardly any of the 15 tracks is developed much beyond a languid soul-jazz vamp, over which Scott asserts her right to personal fulfillment, and celebrates her position as "a grown woman, making decisions and choices, utilising everything inside of me, my soul, my heart, my mind, my voices," etc. The earlier tracks have a certain focus – "Shame" has a great shuffle-funk groove, and the Anthony Hamilton duet "So In Love" lopes coolly like a Bill Withers cut – but things soon dissolve into a sticky puddle of self-regard.

DOWNLOAD THIS: So In Love; Shame