Picks and Pans Review: Jazmine Sullivan

UPDATED 09/29/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/29/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT

Fearless

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CRITIC'S CHOICE

R&B
"I'm scared to think of my album flopping," confesses Jazmine Sullivan on "Fear," giving the lie to her debut's title. But she need not worry: Her first single, "Need U Bad," has already hit No. 1 on Billboard's R&B chart. A killer combo of reggae and retro soul produced by Missy Elliott, it's the best Lauryn Hill song that Lauryn Hill never did. But with tracks like the gritty "Bust Your Windows" and the girl-group throwback "One Night Stand," this CD is more like the African-American answer to Amy Winehouse's Back to Black (they even share producer Salaam Remi). Here's hoping this talented 21-year-old singer leaves the drama on disc.

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