Lyfe Jennings’ fourth and final album entitled, I Still Believe, is his best work by far. It offers more than a glimpse into the thirty seven year old’s complex life and his mastery of lyricism, but a prolific view into his mind. “Statistics,” is an advisory to women out there who dive first into relationships without thinking. It does not quite set the tone for the album, but is precisely placed at its opening. The song “Love,” reverberates with technically sound production and is another admonition this time to the men out there who do not take the time to give the women the love they deserve.
“Spotlight,” one the album’s best, is a tale of a stripper, where Lyfe plays the boyfriend and offers an outlook from the layperson; while “Mama,” featuring Anthony Hamilton is a cleverly weaved anecdote on children who leave the home to pursue their dreams and discover that fame isn’t what it is cracked up to be. Both cuts amplify Lyfe’s coarse and particulate range. The metaphorical “Hero,” plays midstream on I Still Believe and where the theme of hope and learned lessons through mistakes is revealed. The title track is mixed with traces of the vocal caliber shown on 2006’s The Phoenix and the unrefined qualities of many of the songs on his debut.
“Done Crying,” comes through the speakers as a part two of “Cry,” from the debut, with its minimal use of instrumentation and an earnest shriek from the Ohio singer. The final two tracks on the album, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” are reflections and play like four minute memoirs.
I Still Believe captures Lyfe Jennings at his peak as the singer has decided to fold and focus on other projects. The cohesive vibe on the album departs from the harsh subject matters he has lamented about on his previous works. This makes for an exceptional curtain call from the bluesy sounding soul singer.
I Still Believe receives a PARLÉ
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