Phoenix

Phoenix

4.3 6
by Lyfe Jennings
     
 

What's surprising about Lyfe Jennings' career is that not only does his soulful music recall the freedom the soul genre experienced in the early '70s but how his major label, Sony, gives him that freedom in the rather stilted 21st century. Listening to his sophomore effort, The Phoenix, the question could be raised as to who is responsible for the album's heavySee more details below

Overview

What's surprising about Lyfe Jennings' career is that not only does his soulful music recall the freedom the soul genre experienced in the early '70s but how his major label, Sony, gives him that freedom in the rather stilted 21st century. Listening to his sophomore effort, The Phoenix, the question could be raised as to who is responsible for the album's heavy Kanye West and John Legend influence. Legend's emotional, piano-driven style rears its head often and West's elaborate ambition is all over the place, but a couple listens in, it's obvious that Jennings is responsible for all the unique moves and doubtful that Sony told him, "We need you to be our Kanye." The fact Sony gave the man's debut plenty of time to sink in with the public -- they worked it for an eternity by 21st century standards -- is a clue, but the proof is all over The Phoenix, a giant of an album with giant rewards, giant flaws, and grand swoops of unbridled creativity that somehow got Sony's stamp of approval. First off, there's a song-explaining interlude between practically every track, something that wears out its welcome in three listens or so. The interludes that bridge "Goodbye" (excellent and achingly poignant), "Let's Stay Together" (silky smooth), and "Biggie Nigga" (uplifting and fascinating) are especially clumsy, with Lyfe explaining how he faced the "making up is easier than breaking up" conundrum and made the more difficult choice, then made the easier choice, then dumped his lady for another girl who made him feel like the Notorious B.I.G. The chitter-chatter undermines this killer trilogy of songs, but if you want a really strange move, check out how the tougher-than-tough "Slow Down" (with G-Unit member Young Buck) uses the Gilligan's Island theme for its hook. As part of the whole, it works beautifully, as do the outlandish lyrics dropped into "Biggie Nigga" ("I was breast-fed by Godzilla") and "The River" ("I'm cursing the vagina that gave life to me"), since they're surrounded by eye-level views of Lyfe's past and his delivery is always convincing. On top of it all, he pulls off the tricky "sexual abstinence" song ("S.E.X.") without a hitch, throws out enough bold ideas and grand statements for two West records, and his raspy voice is as rich as ever. The Phoenix is a crazy, big, flawed album, but it's a trip, and a riveting one that anyone who loved his debut will want to take.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
08/15/2006
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969640524
catalogNumber:
96405
Rank:
17706

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Intro  - Lyfe Jennings
  2. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  3. Slow Down  -  Doc Black
  4. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  5. Goodbye  - Lyfe Jennings
  6. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  7. Let's Stay Together  - Lyfe Jennings
  8. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  9. Biggie Nigga  - Lyfe Jennings
  10. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  11. Ghetto Superman  - Lyfe Jennings
  12. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  13. S.E.X.  -  Lala Brown
  14. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  15. Down Here, Up There  - Lyfe Jennings
  16. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  17. The River  - Lyfe Jennings
  18. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  19. Still Here  - Lyfe Jennings
  20. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  21. More Than a Girl  - Lyfe Jennings
  22. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  23. Stingy  - Lyfe Jennings
  24. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  25. Radio  - Lyfe Jennings
  26. Interlude  - Lyfe Jennings
  27. Keep Ya Head Up  - Lyfe Jennings
  28. I'll Always Love You  - Lyfe Jennings

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lyfe Jennings   Primary Artist,Guitar,Background Vocals
Sanford Allen   Violin,Concert Master
Erik Friedlander   Cello
Antoine Silverman   Violin
Charlie Poole & the North Carolina Ramblers   Violin
Ashley Horne   Violin
Pauline Kim   Violin
Ricardo Ramos   Guitar
Susan Heerema   Violin
Gregg August   Double Bass
Charles "Chuck" Jennings   Vocals
Sandra Billingsly   Violin
Christina Courtin   Violin
Chris Darrington   Vocals
Chance Jennings   Vocals
Phillip Patton   Violin
Larenia Ponce   Violin
Leonardo Suaret Pag   Violin
Zaneta Tiggett   Background Vocals
Lala Brown   Track Performer
Doc Black   Track Performer
Kristina Reiko Cooper   Cello
Dave Eggar   Cello
Jennifer Choi   Violin
Ron Lawrence   Viola

Technical Credits

Bob Belden   String Conductor,Strings Orchestrator
Rich Keller   Producer,Engineer
Roger   Composer
George Wyle   Composer
David Kutch   Mastering
Chris Woehrle   Logo Design
Sherwood Schwartz   Composer
Jeff Robbins   Management
Joy Bounds   Management
Lyfe Jennings   Producer,String Arrangements
Jeanine McLean Griffin   Management
P.T. Houston   Composer
Heineken Gordan   Engineer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >