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Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

January 27, 2012

Image[Album 11/1001]

I frequently disagree with the Grammy Awards.  At the 41st awards ceremony however, they got it right.  That night, Lauryn Hill picked up five well-deserved trophies, none more appropriate than the recognition for album of the year.

Some of my usual album qualms still apply but none detract terribly from the overall impression. Though side A is noticeably stronger, side B is not merely filler.  The running time approaches eighty minutes, yet it doesn’t feel like it desperately needed more editing.

It’s a proper album, with spoken classroom scenes sprinkled among many memorable songs.  Lost Ones has a great chorus, “you might win some but you just lost one.”  Doo Wop (That Thing) was a slam dunk choice for a lead single and it was, justifiably, a big hit.

The second single, Ex-factor, didn’t chart in the same way at the time.  Fourteen years later, I believe it’s her best work.  There have been few heartache lyrics better than her plea of, “You said you’d die for me…Why won’t you live for me.” 

Since this album, her career has been, to try to summarize in an adjective, puzzling. 

To have a debut album like this though, at age twenty-three, well played.

From → 1990s

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