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MTV Unplugged No. 2.0: Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill

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Album Review

Lauryn Hill's debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, became a critical and commercial blockbuster, which the artist herself, always distrustful of the music business, seems to have found a disorienting experience. She has therefore waited nearly four years to make another album, and the album she has made deliberately flies in the face of the previous one and its reception. Resurrecting the MTV Unplugged program, she has gone before an audience with an acoustic guitar in her hands to sing a new group of songs. But that unadorned approach is only the beginning. Everything about the performance is unpolished. One suspects that she would resist even calling it a performance; "I used to be a performer," she notes at the outset. What she is after, in her life and her music, she explains, is "reality," which means everything from being willing to sing the entire set with a raspy voice because that's the state her voice is in on that day to stopping and starting, going up on the lyrics, and even breaking down in tears. The style naturally places an emphasis on the words to the songs, which reinforce Hill's unvarnished approach, attacking the music business and anyone who wants her to be what's she's not, and witheringly criticizing institutions such as the judicial system ("Mystery of Iniquity"). The songs themselves would not require two discs to contain, but they are alternated by lengthy remarks, one spoken interlude running more than 12 minutes, in which Hill elaborates on the importance of being honest and confronting falsehood. She's usually full of herself, and she's often full of it. But that's okay. The point is the unfinished, unflinching presentation of ideas and of a person. It may not be a proper follow-up to her first album, but it is fascinating.

Customer Reviews

An Everlasting Beauty

I was in high school when this was released and i went and bought it the first day. I have not stopped listening to it since. And in good tradition of sharing the word I have passed on 4 copies of my own to people who somehow slept on the revolution that is Lauryn Hill. I never tire of having to buy a new copy knowing that I've passed something so beautiful and pure as this wonderful album. Even though it changes from the way I feel my absolute favorite is "I Gotta Find Peace Of Mind". If you're still not sure on whether or not you should buy this album, start with that song and let the rest take you. PEACE.

A True Acoustic Beauty

I have no idea why iTunes bags this album. It is truly an element on it's own. It's raw; it's intense; it's real. It's what Lauryn was aiming for, and so much more. A true staple in all-time great acoustic albums. Period.

Amazing.

For any Lauryn Hill/Fugees fan...this is for you. Her voice may seem raspy, but it enhances the meaning and soul of her songs. I love her voice in this because it assures you that she's not one of those fake, digital-voiced artists and her talent is real. I think everyone could find at least one way to relate to her lyrics. She is truth.

Biography

Born: May 26, 1975 in East Orange, NJ

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Call Lauryn Hill the mother of hip-hop invention; with her 1998 solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the Fugees' most vocal member not only established herself as creative force on her own, but also broke new ground by successfully...
Full Bio
MTV Unplugged No. 2.0: Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
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