Jaguar Wright Divorcing Neo to Marry Soul

Sure it’s an awkward title, but Jaguar Wright’s pointed rebuttal of the industry-fashioned genre "neo-soul” is only is truly indicative of her take no prisoners attitude. Asserting that it’s "Out with the new/and in with the old,” Wright’s sophomore set isn’t necessarily as immediate as her first, but the Philly artist seems to be doing just fine without the affiliations of the Roots and demonstrates marked growth in her writing and production skills. The trials and tribulations of relationships dominate the album’s themes, scored with assistance from cagey veterans Raphael Saadiq ("Ecstasy”) and Chucky Thompson. While she sometimes shows her vulnerability, Wright is still at her best when displaying her feisty side. When she matches this attitude, the powerful versatility of her voice and a great song, the results are as spine-tingling as her scene stealing performance on Jay-Z’s Unplugged. And on this record, the superbly-paced near 12-minute epic "Do Your Worst” is the best example of that, demonstrating Wright’s sorely underrated talent that distinguishes her far and away from the legions of disposable image-conscious R&B ingénues. (Artemis)