The Real Thing: Words And Sounds, Vol. 3
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The Real Thing, written and released in the aftermath of her divorce, is an incredibly personal album of songs. Scott lays her soul bare and takes listeners through the many stages of the heart, from lust and longing to loneliness and loss. There's a lot of heat coming off of this disc, and the best part is, every bit of it is generated from a place that feels completely real.
She opens with a snippet of music called "Let It Be" that lasts less than two minutes before diving into the title track and getting right to the heart of the music. Like the others that follow it, "The Real Thing" is a straightforward, cut-to-the-chase kind of song. It's soulful and sexy, giving a very specific rundown of what she has to offer -- and what she expects in return.
The variety of sounds that Scott explores may surprise fans -- but the surprises are all pleasant. The first single, "Hate On Me," is a power-packed bluesy number that blows out the speakers while letting loose a few previously pent-up emotions. From there, she wanders into softer, sexier ground with songs like the suggestive "Crown Royal," which compares a good man to a good drink, the wistful "Insomnia" and the smooth, sultry, "Only You." On "Come See Me," she throws out a smooth, R&B-flavored invitation that seems impossible to refuse.
But Scott also ventures into some brand new ground with some help from producer/co-writer Scott Storch on "Epiphany," which lets her break into rap territory. She's comfortable with the new sound, and it fits her well enough that it could hint at new directions for her future.
Those who are looking for something revealing about her failed marriage will find it in "My Love." Directed to her former love, she doesn't beg for him to come back so much as she points out what he's missing. There's a definite undercurrent of pain and sadness, but her overriding message is about self-pride rather than self-pity. She hits on a similar theme with "How It Make You Feel," which is the perfect blend of attitude and ability. Smooth and seductive, she makes the pain sound better than heartache ever should.
The Real Thing is a serious album, but Scott offers a timely slice of humor on "Celibacy Blues." As she wrestles with one of the side effects of a crumbling marriage -- sleeping alone -- she turns it into a bluesy lament that every woman has been able to sing at one time or another in her life.
She caps it off with the bonus track "Family Reunion," a live version of a song from her 2004 album, Beautifully Human. It's a fun play-by-play of a family gathering that gives a nice, playful ending to the disc.
The Real Thing could be considered the ultimate album for the single woman -- it's smart, it's sexy and it captures all the elements and emotions of daily romantic struggles. Scott has truly outdone herself this time around -- something she seems to be making a practice of doing -- and has crafted a disc that shouldn't be missed.