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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Heaux Tales

Jazmine Sullivan

2021

Buy At Rough Trade
Heaux Tales
Album Summary

Heaux Tales is the first extended play (EP) by American R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. It was released by RCA Records on January 8, 2021. Its release date was confirmed on December 2, 2020. It is her first release since 2015's critically-acclaimed Reality Show. It includes features from Ari Lennox, Anderson .Paak, and H.E.R. The EP was primarily recorded in Sullivan's Philadelphia home.While an extended play, it has also been variably identified as a "concept album" and "schematic, a successor to didactic concept albums like The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill". Structurally, six "spoken word interludes" "are followed by songs that flesh them out as character studies". The themes explored include feminism, sexuality, classism, and body-shaming among other lyrical topics supported by narrative interludes between each song. The project received widespread critical acclaim and was also a commercial success, debuting at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart, marking Sullivan's highest position on the chart. Heaux Tales won the Album of the Year award at the 2021 BET Awards and the 2021 Soul Train Music Awards; it was named Album of the Year by NPR, Entertainment Weekly, LA Times and Pitchfork. The EP won Best R&B Album at the 64th Grammy Awards, and its single "Pick Up Your Feelings" was nominated for both Best R&B Song and won for Best R&B Performance. The project will be further promoted by The Heaux Tales Tour in 2022, Sullivan's third US headlining tour. Sullivan released the deluxe edition of the project, titled Heaux Tales, Mo' Tales: The Deluxe, on February 11, 2022.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.73

Votes

10575

Genres

  • Hip Hop

Reviews

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Thu Aug 25 2022
1

If this album is on this list then Cats should have won an Oscar and Vladimir Putin awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
3

Socially relevant for 2021 and pretty funny at times but of all the releases in the past 12 months not sure why this one would make the cut.

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Thu May 12 2022
2

Look, I'm one of the last people who's gonna dump on anything that purports to be about female empowerment. I'm all for that. But just because it's got its heart in the right place doesn't make it good. And let's be clear, "Heaux Tales" is not very good. The production values are damn near non-existent and the backing beats are minimalist homages to authentic R&B tracks at best and amateur-hour ripoffs at worst. But where it really falls apart is the lyricism. While the intent is clearly there, the execution is... immature. Juvenile, even. Everything comes off as the rantings and ravings of someone who hasn't seen enough life to understand the depth of what they're talking about. There's no pathos here. No perspective. It has the form of protest without the substance. This is serious stuff and all Jazmine is doing is skimming the surface. I can't help but feel that "Heaux Tales" was added to this list too hastily. I don't imagine it will stand the test of time. I expect it will disappear into the noise of the dozens of similar hiphop/R&B albums that have come out in the last few years.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

I haven't heard of it nor Jazmine Sullivan before but I will remember her now! This take-no-prisoners examination of female sexuality is refreshingly candid as it explores the feelings and desires of women while challenging all the judgmental, hypocritical baggage usually attached to it. More than just an entertaining album, this is a real education and as I listened was embarrassed to realize how much of that baggage I still carry around despite my attempts to shed myself of them. I almost started this review by saying "this album isn't targeted at me" and realized that, yes, it IS targeted at me. It is targeted at a society that carries around these bullshit views of femininity and I have to contend with that every bit as much as anyone else. We are not the enlightened people we think we are and albums like this are spotlights exposing the work to be done. Heaux Tales is a phenomenal album.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
1

Lost me in the first 10 seconds. I hate this style of music, I hate it's attitude, I hate it's vocal style - I hate everything about it.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
1

Eeesh. What was cut from the list to make room for this...

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Fri Jan 06 2023
1

So apparently this is as "vital" an album as Abbey Road, Exile on Main Street and Dark Side of The Moon... ... It isn't.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

Hmm, this was a real stretch for me. I guess it’s not really made for a 59 year old male, but it was still cool. Pick up your feelings is great! She is an unapologetic sexual being. Recognizing the ups and downs of that reality. Go for it girl

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Wed Jan 05 2022
1

A bizarre choice as one of the 1001 albums you must hear. Totally forgettable.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

Goodness gracious. Vulnerable and raw. This is a fascinating album. Recordings of seemingly candid speeches are interspersed with songs inspired by the discussions. The way I said it makes it sound boring! But the pieces are largely about sex and sexual agency, so no not boring. I love Sullivan's voice. She's got a beautiful range and uses it with particular gut-wrenching effect on the track Lost One. My other favorites on the album were: Bodies, Pick Up Your Feelings, The Other Side, and Girl Like Me.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
4

An absorbing, intelligent nu soul album with stunning vocals and excellent production, Jazmine Sullivan astutely narrates the complexities of modern dating, relationships and self worth on an album that rewards repeat listening.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
2

I definitely appreciated hearing the points of view expressed, and the vignettes are interesting glimpses into the lives behind the songs. As a very recent album, however, I maybe hoped to hear some themes that I haven't heard before in other artists' work. As for the music itself, I like "Pick Up Your Feelings," but I really didn't enjoy much more than that.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

This album is yet another example of the reason they need to let these records breathe before adding them to a list like this. While the messages are timeless, the music is going to age like unpasteurized milk. Three of the songs use that terrible mumble trap triplet flow, which is three too many. Best track: Lost One

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Fri Nov 17 2023
2

did not need to listen to this before I died

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

My eating my change with time, but I loved this album. Or should I say open, honest and profound look at sexuality from a female (black female) lens. The frank discussions and highlighting of double standards between men and women as well as the expectations that we each put on one another (as well as within our own gender) was direct and needed. These discussions (and time for men to shut up and actually listen and process) should really be happening at an earlier age. For all of the comments about “We’ll, I don’t know if this is for me because I’m old/male/white/other excuse” really proves how much it actually is for you and how easy (lazy) it is to pass something off as “not for me” when it makes you uncomfortable or calls out your privilege in a less direct way.

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Sun Oct 24 2021
4

I was surprised to see this recent of an album on this list, but it was a worthy addition. The vocals and writing on this album are great and it had a great R&B sound. It did seem somewhat anemic considering it was half an hour including the intermission stories though. Fav songs: pick up your feelings, price tags

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

Reminiscent of Lauryn Hill. Complex mix of R&B ballads, twitchy hip-hop, feminist lyrics.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

7/10. I really like the Canterbury Tales-esque concept album framework, but don't really enjoy the actual music that much.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
4

Feels very much like a modern day Lauryn Hill insofar as it's concept. Really good, but not perfect. And as I discovered, NSFW.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
4

4/08/2022 Today's Album: "Heaux Tales" by Jazmine Sullivan - This album is really great and knows how to keep it's ideas short and concise. This album should essentially be called hoe tales, as almost every track is split up from the next by a short interlude of a woman talking about some aspect of being a woman. Antoinette's Tale talks about how men are taught to objectify women, Ari's Tale is about submitting to a man because of his sexual game, and Donna's Tale is about fucking men for the sole purpose of getting something out of it, even if that man is your husband. Although these interludes seem ammeter and comical, the combined message of the interlude and following track can have a huge impact. Like in Rashida's Tale, which talks about cheating on someone and how awful it feels on both ends being followed by Lost One, which is a chillingly somber track about a heartbreak. The tracks in between the interludes are all pretty fantastic. They all feature a really cool musical idea with Jazmine's vocals taking center stage and the R&B backtrack always backing her up perfectly. I think every song has a lot of impactful lines that help them all feel unique, necessary, and apt given the context provided by each "Heaux"'s tale. The whole album feels like it tackles many of the crucial modern issues of being a woman in America and it feels like all the ideas are integrated in a way that doesn't take away from the entire musical presentation of each track. I think if you like female pop like Ariana Grande or Doja Cat, you will like the aesthetic of this album and if you have ever felt the world is just a little fucked up towards women, and especially black women, this album is a great one to dig into the lyrics with. Give it a listen if that sounds like you. I think a lot of it isn't totally my thing and the whole thing feels really short (especially with about 8 minutes of interludes), but some of the hits on here made my playlist for sure and I think it's a fairly good example of R&B/Pop today. Score: 7.5/10 Some great female R&B/Pop Highlights: Bodies, Pick Up Your Feelings, Put It Down, Price Tags, Lost One, The Other Side, Girl Like Me

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Thu Feb 02 2023
1

Interesting choice for an album from 2021. It sucks. It sounds like a ton of other generic hiphop/RnB albums that exist. Even the message of the album is amateurish and many more skilled artists have handled the subject matter a lot better. Plus how the beats are just so fucking bad. Seriously? It's just so bland and uninspired.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
3

Now this is a surprise . Wouldn’t normally listen to female-sung modern r&b, but might be a good background album while schmoozing. Not enough oestrogen in me to thoroughly enjoy .

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Fri Mar 18 2022
2

Not for me I think, although I might enjoy it more after a few listen throughs. Not gonna happen though.

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Mon Jul 10 2023
2

This was fine, but I kind of feel like this list should function like the NFL Hall of Fame when comes to adding new releases. To get into the Hall of Fame, you have to be retired for at least 5 years before being considered for eligibility. I think that’s fair, right? 5 years after its release, an album becomes eligible? Otherwise, this list becomes a product of its moment. I’m not trying to single out this record or any newly added releases in the most recent edition of the book. There’s plenty of records on the list from 2000-2005 in the first edition of the book that shouldn’t be included. I’m just saying there needs to be a cool down period where records can be evaluated outside of their moment before dubbing them essential.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
2

Millions of streams on Spotify, Grammy awards, a place on the 1001 albums list, and yet I’d never heard of Jazmine Sullivan. Am I so out of touch…? No. It’s the children who are wrong.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
1

Någon med analklåda tyckte den här skulle tillhöra listan. Det är så man blir både ledsen och förbannad på en gång. Mest ledsen........... och förbannad.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
1

#86. Trashy music from a trashy skank. Hard pass. No stars for Gryffindor. 1/5: Half a star for the accurate album title. Another half a star for still being better than Tom Waits somehow.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

holy shit, if i could give 6 stars i would

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

This was another new one for me and I was intrigued. It was raw yet smooth to me. At moments it was a challenge for me because it was a truth so far from mine, but I really appreciated the album experience.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Bodies, Pick up your feelings, Put it down, Price tags, The other side, Girl like me

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

Holy crap. Wow. Speechless. What did I just listen to. My god. This hit me so hard. This is incredible.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

Covered a surprising range of emotion compared to what I originally expected, and my main critique is that I would like to hear more. 9/10

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

A beautiful experience. It's almost TOO good

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Fri Dec 09 2022
5

Love this. Voice is extraordinary. Lyrics great feminist views.

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

The grooves are Thicc. The spoken word interludes are a cool play on the form of the "concept" album work. The album is a deep dive on relationship dynamics and goes to some genuinely thought provoking and interesting places.

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Thu Jan 12 2023
5

A stunning voice and a powerful and dynamic album. 4.5/5

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Thu Feb 16 2023
5

Really really good! Loved it!!!

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

Fantastic concept and performance, definitely derived from Lauryn Hill, but unique to the current time. A low 5, but a 5 nonetheless.

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Fri Jun 16 2023
5

Really compelling concept album/EP - some of it can seem light-hearted and silly ("Put it down"), but great production and writing throughout. It seems like a more complete and thoughtful piece of art than a lot of other albums on this list, and considering ititss technically an EP it doesn't overstay its welcome or stretch out unnecessarily. I really loved some of the production, notable cuts like "Lost One" and "The Other Side".

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Thu Aug 17 2023
5

I am blown away. I love this concept and the execution.

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Thu Oct 05 2023
5

knew that the exclusively classic rock obsessed saddos would hate this album without thought so was gonna give it a 5 anyway to spite them but it actually deserves it too so a double win

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

Bodies - a chill intro to an album. i like that we've slowed into RnB (4/5) Pick Up Your Feelings - i like this a lot. (5/5 talent) Put It Down - i used to listen and drive around to this kind of thing back in like 2018. (5/5 always a good drive) On It - this is very classic RnB. these are hit or miss for me. (3/5 it sounds good but it's a miss) Price Tags - women in RnB feel underrepresented. this fucks (5/5) Lost One - you can hear the inspiration from the early 00s throughout this. the development to this is great (5/5) The Other Side - it's so summer drive vibe. (5/5 it's just nice.) Girls Like Me - a very fitting ending to an album too (4/5) this album actually slapped a lot. maybe because it's the most recent album i've had but i thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. 5/5 the amount of skits are.. a lot but honestly it was pretty easy to ignore.

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Mon Dec 04 2023
5

I think the frank discussions of sexuality on this are great. Sex and sexuality can be a topic that comes off as cheesy or forced, but I think having mini-confessionals before the track that they inform is a clever tactic that works really well. I think a song like "Lost One" gets a heavier punch hearing the source, as it were. For the first time on this list, I think this album comes across a little, very little underbaked. Aforementioned "Lost Ones" is fantastic, but I think it doesn't know how to properly end so it just... cuts out. Also, when you look at it, half of this album is, technically, interludes. It's a short record, but I would've wanted so much more. Regardless, I enjoyed it enough to call it a 4.5, rounding up cos Jazmine is from Philly. Favorite tracks: "Put It Down", "Lost One", "On It"

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

Dug it. Bit preachy at times but good grooves

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Sat Jan 06 2024
5

Unique, in the concept and the execution, but with clear nods to lots of classic American artists from the past. The story-telling and world-building is exquisite, and the vocals are flawless, verging on transcendant at points. An absolute unexpected joy - the closest comparison would be Janelle Monae, in terms of how much I enjoyed it and also how much of a bolt from the blue it was. Brilliant and startling

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Sun Jan 07 2024
5

Never heard of Jazmine Sullivan. I like this album. The music doesn't sound over produced. The interludes have a vibe to them that engage my synapses. Pick up Your feelings, Pricetags, Lost One, The Other Side. Great voice, great production, solid album. Will probably look more up

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Fri Jan 12 2024
5

Loved this album when it was released!

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Thu Feb 15 2024
5

Wow... first time hearing this album it is a real journey that Lost One even had me in tears. Very honest and a full range of emotions are explored at times as emotionally raw as Elvis Costello. The music matches the stories told. This is an amazing fully realized concept album!

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Fri Mar 01 2024
5

Idk why but this album was really fun. I imagined Jazmine singing every song about me(straight-male) me. Beats and bars are really good too. Rounding up from a 4.5.

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

Ah so here we are, the very newest entry in the current version of the book, have been curious to see what this was, as I've never heard of it or her. If I was going to argue what other records from 2021 should be here I'd say Self Esteem (similar theme to this one really except if she was a white girl from Sheffield), Little Simz (not too far removed), Black Country New Road (English, so people would cry) and Floating Points (but this book doesn't acknowledge jazz exists after 1963), so yeah ok, Heaux Tales, let's see what's up. Starts strong, Pick Up Your Feelings is really good. RnB has improved so much from its nadir in the 90s. Not as keen on Put it Down or On it. Donna's Tale is funny. Price Tags is funny also, and an update to Destiny's 'Bills' which I always found annoying. Lost One is indeed gorgeous. She's got pipes, this one. And sings in lots of different styles. The Other Side is a fantastic slice of pop RnB with a yearningly aspirational chorus (even if it seems a pretty superficial dream). I am somewhat surprised how much I enjoyed this overall as it's not my thing generally, but great records surpass such self-imposed restrictions, and this does that.

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Tue Apr 02 2024
5

5/5. A short and tight album (even the deluxe) with skits and interludes that flow with the track list and each full song is so memorable and well-written. Way more R&B and soul and Jazmine does have the soothing voice to match. I think there can be a disconnect to listen to a very direct and honest woman speak about sex, love, individuality, and vulnerability. She, or others, may say things in her skits that rub you the wrong way but they are not apologetic, they know what they want and you may not like them, but that's who they are. I would never want to be friends irl based on their morals but that does not take away her skill of an artist to be able to create amazing songs for each opinion. Best song: Pick up your feelings, Lost one, Hurt me so good

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

I'm not normally a big fan of R&B, but this was excellent. Nice one Jazmine!

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Fri Dec 24 2021
4

Do you like sex? Do you like albums about sex? Do you relate to the inner city struggles of Harlem? Well, here it is on a plate. Dig in!

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

Jako me iznenadilo što je ovo već tu. Poslušala sam ovaj album kad je izašao jer su svi kritičari simpali za ovim. Skroz razumljivo. Nekad nema boljeg od jako kvalitetnog R&B albuma o seksu, sa savršenim vokalima, produkcijom, Anderson Paakom i HER.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
4

I had never heard of this artist. Ok, it's not my usual style, but someone from Philly making waves should have at least been on my radar. Enjoyed the music and the vocals, some of the narration felt like I was eavesdropping a conversation I wasn't meant to be. But nevertheless, really interesting album.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

8/10 the production, concept, and vocals were all fantastic, but sometimes the lyrics fell flat

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Fri Mar 04 2022
4

Some funky rhythms just not my thing. 7.1/10

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

I was completely unaware of this, but really rather liked it.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Really nice melodies and arrangements. With a few more listens my rating might go higher. I liked the concept for the album, though it was a little too sex-focused. I thought it would have a bit more complexity or depth. Still, some good connections between the lead-in tales and the songs to follow. I really liked Lost One and its tale. Girl Like Me was also quite good and had more complexity to it. Put it Down has a great groove even though I don't have much respect for anyone the story applies to.

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Sun May 01 2022
4

4/5. Good modern current trendy? nice lil album right here 👍

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Fri May 06 2022
4

now THIS is a girl task album. i like it

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Fri May 20 2022
4

I was just thinking that these have been too rock/metal heavy lately. Granted, I’m cool with the metal- hell yes, keep this shit separated from Rolling Stone- but we haven’t had much R&B, rap, jazz in a while. Glad we got this welcome change of pace today. Jasmine Sullivan is a name I knew, but I don’t think that I ever heard her stuff before. This was pretty nice! You can tell that she’s hella talented and has a strong sense of collaboration, and the production is tight here. I don’t love the introductions, but I can see myself warm up to them on further listens. C+ for now, can see this rise after some more listens (Side note, but this is technically an EP, although a deluxe edition was released that should push this to an LP. Even before that, it’s 33 minutes which is a perfectly acceptable album length.)

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Fri May 20 2022
4

Liked this, and wanna return to it and understand the concepts better.

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Fri May 20 2022
4

I liked this album and it seems like one that will get even better on repeated listens. It reminds me of Dirty Computer in that the themes of the songs are just as striking as the music, and the more I listen the more I pick out.

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Mon May 23 2022
4

She's very talented, although the numerous interlude "tales" prevent it from being an album to just toss on and listen to.

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Fri May 27 2022
4

Good R&B album, her voice is great, album premise is good, not an album I would listen to all the time

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Sun May 29 2022
4

I really liked this. Surprised I haven’t heard about her until this.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
4

Fantastic to see/hear an album on this list that was created and released so recently! It's great stuff. I was drawn in right away, nice hooks, outstanding voice, and solid songwriting. I'll come back to this one and listen to more of her music.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
4

Yeah I liked it Price tag Other side

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Thu Aug 04 2022
4

Tuneful and R&B-driven, with every track offering considerable merit. One digs the musical mood, as well as the candid talk about sex, bodies and money from the women’s perspective (e.g., "Honest honest .... I'ma take all I can get / that money keeps that pussy wet.") A work of authenticity, feeling and (one thinks) considerable social currency. Maybe coulda been longer.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

I like the structure of this and how themes are explored and wrestled with throughout. Catchy stuff too.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

That scratched an itch that I didn’t know I needed scratched.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

Great storytelling album. Very entertaining. Not kid appropriate

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

:))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) 8.5/10

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

Never heard of her but really enjoyed it

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Wed Oct 05 2022
4

Good stuff! Particularly enjoy the Anderson Paak feature

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Didn't particularly love the lyrics of most of the songs but the melodies, composition and production were really top notch

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

I'm not really a fan of them adding albums from 2021 in the book. To me it's impossible to decide on must listen albums after such little time has passed. I can definitely see why someone would have it as a must listen for 2021 though. Although I listened to a lot of new music last year I never heard this. I'm not that well traveled in the world of rnb, so it's pretty natural. I am glad that I was introduced to the album though. So even if I don't agree on it being here, I still found a lot to like about the album. It's a simple but effective concept with small spoken word stories fleshing out the songs following them. I really like her voice, the songs are mostly great and she has some really good collabs on here. A solid album experience. But will it stand the test of time enough to be kept in the next installment of this book? We'll see!

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Wed Jan 04 2023
4

Call it lowered expectations because of the ratings, but I believe this album is very underrated over here. I found it to be pretty tight concept album that doesn't overstay its welcome, a very nice find.

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

I think I listened to this album back in 2021 when it came out, and if I remember correctly, I enjoyed it. Listening to it today, I really liked it. I thought it was well made, and lyrically, I don't think I've ever heard a female artist sing about things like that before. I found it subversive in the best way, and I would be open to listening to Jazmine Sullivan's next album.

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Thu Jan 12 2023
4

Really interesting to hear strong women's voices in this genre. Loved it

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Mon Feb 20 2023
4

Liked this album! The Other Side was my favorite track, added it to a couple playlists

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Wed Mar 08 2023
4

It had a good message. All the ‘Tales’ tell of things that you can really learn from. ‘Lost One’ is the best, since it has a clear message and good music.

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Thu Mar 09 2023
4

Fuck this bangs (pun intended)

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Mon Mar 13 2023
4

Nice modern R&B. Interesting to listen to an album of character studies, humorous in places. However, wasn't really pushing any boundaries musically.

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