The 2008 debut of Missy Elliott’s Pennsylvanian protégé Jazmine Sullivan was indeed an introduction to some. But given her songwriting resume (see: Christina Milian, Monica, Jennifer Hudson) and already established Youtube following long before ‘Fearless’ hit shelves, by the time ‘Need U Bad’ blared from Urban radios, her unmistakable contralto was already a celebrity.
Showcasing a maturity in tone and technique far beyond her years, many would be forgiven for not knowing the ‘Bust Your Windows’ beauty was only 21 the year her debut LP arrived on record shelves. Heralded by many as the second-coming of Lauryn Hill, Sullivan’s soulful servings instantly gained her mainstream notoriety – some even christening her as R&B’s long-awaited messiah. Four hit R&B singles would follow ‘Fearless’ as it made an impressive top 10 debut. And, with Jazmine garnering an impressive 5 Grammy nods for the album, it appeared she was on her way to the same heights once held by Hill. Unfortunately, that trek to compeer Hill quickly turned uphill.
For, while her singles (that never made much noise on Pop charts anyway) were losing ground on home fronts, the singer was unceremoniously snubbed at the 2009 Grammy’s. This, of course, only furthering fears that the ‘Fearless’ follow-up would suffer a sophomore slump.
Enter ‘Love Me Back’ – ‘Fearless’ unsuccessful successor headed by R&B hit ‘Holding You Down (Goin’ In Circles)’. And, though marginally besting the first week sales of her first album, ‘Love Me Back’ wasn’t getting much love from record buyers. Consequently, many believe, leading the soulful songstress to ‘retire’ from the industry indefinitely.
That Grape Juice wants to know – what is the problem? Clearly one of this generation’s leading talents, the promo from her introductory hype alone helped float her first album sales. Albeit very deserved, could the lack of such her second-go-round have played a role in its successor’s sink? Lack of singles? Bad videos? Some may even argue weight gain, but the successes of the Adeles of the world could counter that argument.
Or, regardless of Jazmine’s mega-talent, was the material from ‘Love Me Back’ too dated and unappealing to garner mainstream success?
You tell us. Product vs. Promotion? What’s Jazmine Sullivan’s shortcoming?