|Studio album by|
|Released||September 23, 2008|
|Jazmine Sullivan chronology|
|Singles from Fearless|
Fearless is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan. It was released on September 23, 2008, through J Records. Production for the album took place during 2007 to 2008 and was handled by several record producers, including Missy Elliott, Stargate, Carvin & Ivan, Wyclef Jean, Jack Splash and Salaam Remi.
The album debuted at number six on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 65,000 copies in its first week. It also produced four singles that attained respectable charting on Billboards Hot 100 chart. Upon its release, Fearless received generally positive reviews from most music critics who complimented its production and Sullivan's vocals, comparing her to female R&B artists such as Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill. The album earned Sullivan seven Grammy Award nominations and has sold 517,000 copies in the United States and since been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for exceeded sales of 500,000.
Sullivan signed to Jive Records in 2003 where she later began providing vocals for other artists such as Kindred the Family Soul. Sullivan graduated from the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia in 2005, where she was a vocal music major. After graduation, she was dropped from her record label Jive Records, later scrapping her original debut album which remains unreleased. In 2007, Peter Edge, record executive and then president of J Records, saw interest in her after listening to her demo that she recorded for Christina Milian's single "Say I" (2006), he later which offered her a deal with J Records. She eventually began work for her debut studio album.
The lead single, "Need U Bad", produced by Missy Elliott, was released on May 13, 2008. and its music video premiered on July 7, 2008. The song reached number thirty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. She later performed the song at the 2008 BET Awards. "Bust Your Windows" was released as the second single from the album on September 16, 2008, and its music video premiered in October 2008. The song was based on It reached number six on the Hot 100 and serves as Sullivan's most successful single. It also reached number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, becoming her second top-ten hit on that chart. Two other singles "Lions, Tigers & Bears" and "Dream Big" were later released and were accompanied by music videos.
In a September 2008 interview with Pete Lewis of Blues & Soul, Sullivan disccused the album's title and lyrical themes,
I named the album Fearless because I'm just not afraid of ANYTHING right now. I'm young, I'm 22 years old... And I just feel that, if YOU embrace your uniqueness by not being afraid to take chances and being different, then everybody ELSE will! You know, I definitely did not wanna exclude ANYBODY! So, if you buy my record and think you're gonna get just a bunch of reggae beats or just a bunch of R&B beats, you'll be wrong! You're gonna get EVERYTHING! I mean, the genres can range from jazz, to gospel, to pop... Because that's who I AM! And, with me having been inspired by so much, I wanted everybody to SEE that diversity in me.
|MSN Music (Consumer Guide)|||
The album received generally positive reviews from most music critics. Sullivan received many comparisons by critics to other well-known female R&B artists, such as Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Mary J. Blige, and Alicia Keys.Allmusic writer Andy Kellman gave the album 4½ out of 5 stars and praised her performance, stating "There's a lot of range on display here, and there is just as much depth".Vibes Erika Ramirez praised Sullivan's singing and lyrical substance, writing "Sullivan's vocal perfection pilots her debut album... and boasts her self-penned lyrics which are filled with struggle and heartache, embodying every inch of the soul star she is".NOWs Benjamin Boles commended Sullivan for her "strong voice" and the album's production, stating "she's pulling from a pleasingly wide range of influences - dropping bits of doo-wop, roots reggae, Motown and hip-hop into the mix while maintaining a consistent feel".Q gave it 4 out of 5 stars and wrote "[H]er voice merges Beyonce and Amy Winehouse and is backed by slick productions".Houston Chronicle writer Joey Guerra wrote favorably of her songwriting and called the album "a collection brimming with attitude, edge and soul". Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine gave it 4 out of 5 stars and commended Sullivan for her lyrical honesty and musical range.The Washington Posts Allison Stewart described Fearless as "a mix of awkward-but-novel devices (reggae beats, Daft Punk samples) and nakedly confessional songwriting" and called it "a snappy, intensely human debut".
However, Entertainment Weeklys Simon Vozick-Levinson gave Fearless a C+ rating and described most of its music as "schmaltzy pop-&-B". Giving the album 3 out of 5 stars, About.com's Mark Edward Nero viewed her vocals as "generic and lack emotion or urgency" on some songs, but ultimately wrote that "there are more hits than misses here". Nero lauded Sullivan's vocal performance and compared her songwriting to that of R&B musician Ne-Yo, writing "due to both artists' talent for writing on-point, introspective lyrics. Like Ne-Yo, Jazmine has a knack for crafting intricate, deeply personal verses that make you feel at one with the singer. Even on the weaker songs on Fearless, the songwriting is still above par".USA Todays Steve Jones gave the album 3 out of 4 stars and wrote that she "sings every word as if she means it".MusicOMH writer Michael Cragg praised Sullivan's vocal range and themes on the album, writing "Sullivan has created a mature, engaging R&B album that doesn't rely solely on the usual tropes of sexuality, money and posturing. Instead, Fearless deals with real emotions sung in a way that convinces the listener she means every single word".Okayplayer's Jeff Harvey called it "a well produced urban pop album" and wrote that Sullivan's voice "carries a subtle tenderness that adds intriguing nuance". Jon Caramanica of The New York Times wrote favorably of Sullivan's performance and wrote "Her sense of humor is her best asset. She doesn't have a huge, imposing voice, but she's versatile, dabbling in jazz and reggae phrasings with ease".
Fearless entered at number six on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 65,000 copies. It fell to number 10 in its second week, selling 42,000 more copies. The album also peaked at number one on Billboards Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. As of November 2010, Fearless has sold 517,000 copies in the United States.
She earned five 2009 Grammy Award nominations for the album including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance ("Need U Bad"), Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance ("I'm in Love with Another Man"), Best R&B Song ("Bust Your Windows"), and Best Contemporary R&B Album, while Sullivan herself was nominated for Best New Artist.
She also earned two 2010 Grammy Award nominations for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song ("Lions, Tigers, and Bears").Vibe magazine named the album one of the Ten Best Albums of 2008.
|1.||"Bust Your Windows"||Remi||4:26|
|2.||"Need U Bad"||4:17|
|3.||"My Foolish Heart"||Carvin & Ivan||3:39|
|4.||"Lions, Tigers & Bears"||Remi||4:11|
|5.||"Call Me Guilty"||Remi||3:25|
|6.||"One Night Stand"||Fisticuffs||3:33|
|7.||"After the Hurricane"||Stargate||3:58|
|9.||"Live a Lie"||Remi||3:16|
|DJ Dirty Harry||3:54|
|11.||"In Love with Another Man"||4:24|
|13.||"Best of Me"||2:47|
|14.||"Need U Bad" (Remix featuring T.I.)||4:25|
|15.||"Dream Big" (StoneBridge Club Remix)||6:48|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone