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Once you get over the Missy Elliott guest spot on the radio hit “Need U Bad” and the overstated Lauryn Hill comparisons, J Records new artist Jazmine Sullivan bodes well amongst the labels other deep throat divas.

The disc’s opening track, “Bust Your Windows,” where the just now legal Sullivan warns of the fury of a woman scorn is bound to become the alibi of plenty sistas from around the way. As will “Call Me Guilty,” where Sullivan sings of taking the life against a man who abused her.

Although it sounds rather heavy, Sullivan actually keeps the party going for much of the set. The best of the CD’s throwback vibe is heard on “One Night Stand” and “My Foolish Heart” which samples GZA’s “Liquid Swords.”

Sullivan’s voice on most of Fearless is mature, powerful and consistent (“Lions, Tigers & Bears,” “After The Hurricane”) yet never outshines her equally respected songwriting. Songs like “Dream Big,” “Fear” and “In Love With Another Man” wouldn’t be noteworthy vocally if they weren’t so deftly written.

Pick any track from Fearless and it is sure to serve as evidence that Jazmine Sullivan is both a talented singer and songwriter. That’s the good news. The even better news is that despite a few loud moments, her songs about giving it up on the first night and vandalizing a brotha’s car earns its rightful place among the same brand of soulful, gritty, realistic R&B to come out of Philadelphia for years.

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