Eb previews Lyfe Jennings new album “I Still Believe”
When this raspy storyteller opens his mouth to croon about “lyfe,” Eb listens. I’ve been a fan of his since his debut album Lyfe 268-192. Although he strayed a bit from the original formula that made me fall in love with his voice on the Phoenix and Lyfe Change albums, he never ceases to give me at least 3 tracks that get non-stop rotation. With I Still Believe he gives me a complete album that reminds me so much of his debut. Gritty, in your face lyrics sung so sweetly that even the deepest of heartaches become at ease. I’m both excited and sad to report about this new album. Excited because while listening it made me feel like the first album still does every time I hear it. Although, you could feel and hear his growth to the point that I feel his music can only get better from this point on. Then I get sad remembering he announced this will be his last album.
My favorite song on the album is “Learn From This.” The track is so infectious, I literally started nodding my head when I heard that first note. It’s about lost love and he’s cussing in a major way so you know he was hurting about this break up. No man can sing a cuss word better than Lyfe and he puts so much emphasis on every word that you know he really means what he’s singing about. My favorite part is the bridge. It’s just genius.
“If Tomorrow Never Comes” is my second favorite track. It’s just Lyfe and a piano. He’s singing as if this is the last song he will ever get to sing. He put his all into this record. Through his lyrics making everything right with everyone he may have wronged because tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Lucky for me I was able to attend a preview showcase this week as well where he performed this track LIVE. Check it out:
These next 3 songs I love equally so I’m going to stop ranking them.
“Done Crying” is a killer ballad. Lyfe produced the track and its so rough and matches his vocals perfectly. Not many people could sing over a track with such a hard piano, loud snaps, and trumpet without their voice getting lost but he owns it. It’s full of emotion and he is BLOWING! The concept is him realizing that his ex is done crying over him and as ladies we have all been at that point in our life where we are finally over a dude but never know how being over the dude really makes him feel. Now you know. At least through Lyfe’s experience.
“Love” is a smooth groove track about appreciating the woman you have because another dude is always plotting to get her. He’s rap-singing on this record. He actually rap-sings a lot on this album and I’m not a fan of it but on this song it works.
“It Coulda Been Worse” is the track that takes you straight to church. When it was playing I could see the sacred dancers at my church coming up with something so dynamic to this song. Lucky for you I have video of him performing this song LIVE as well. Check it out:
If you’ve followed Lyfe from the beginning you know that he mentions Superman. In “Hero” he mentions him again along with a load of other superheroes. The track is dope and the lyrics have comedic undertones. He starts the song off singing, “Superman can’t make chicken like this.” I died laughing. It’s so blunt and real and I like the fact that he can be silly and it work and not come off ignorant.
There is going to be a new anthem for the mothers in the world when you hear “Mama.” This song is the only one on the album that features another artist and it’s Anthony Hamilton. Also shout out to my homies T-Rex & Kimberly Nichole who are singing background vocals. Kimberly’s gorgeous voice is brought up just under the levels of Lyfe and Anthony and it’s so dynamic. I wish they had given her a verse. I wouldn’t think that voices so powerful and unique as Lyfe and Anthony’s would mesh together well but it turned out beautiful.
“If I Knew Then, What I Know Now” is the song that reminded me why this album is so different from the first. There is a long intro playing and Lyfe isn’t talking over it and introducing the concept of the song. I really missed it. Every note that went by I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for him to come in and tell the inspiration behind the song. This coming from a person that hates interludes and people that talk for 30seconds before they start singing on a record. For me though, I have always been able to listen to Lyfe. Knowing that he writes all his music, and that all of the concepts come from a genuine and real place, I want to be engaged before each record. He said that a lot of people complained about him talking so much so that’s why he didn’t do it as much on this album but I really missed it. Either way it’s still a dope album cut. Would have been at the top of my list with one of my favs if he wasn’t rapping again, but the harmonies on the hook gave me chills.
Lastly is “Spotlight” and this ready is just so-so to me. The track is weird and kind of annoying but the concept and melody are beautiful. He has a breakdown where he’s rapping that takes away from the whole dynamic of the song, but I can see this being a fav amongst the 106 & Park crowd. The strippers might be able to get a couple dollars off this one as well since he raps something about Kevorkian. Now I like it rough sometimes but I would like to still be living when it’s over.
I Still Believe is in stores August 31st. I will buying a copy. And y’all know I go up to the labels and get all my music for free so if Eb said she is going out to BUY an album, you should definitely have it in your collection and go out and BUY it too.
If you missed my intimate interview with Lyfe Jennings where we talk about those relationship statistics, baby mama drama, and him retiring from music to write books go HERE.