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Fearless by Jazmine Sullivan
Released: Sep 2008
Label: J Records
Every female R&B singer with a little rasp in her voice or some drama to work through gets compared to Mary J. Blige these days. But this one, folks, is the real heir to that impassioned throne, and not just because her raw vocals are a dead ringer for Mary J's (with more than a twist of Lauryn Hill on tracks like "Need U Bad"). Every track on this impressive debut (co-produced by mentor Missy Elliott) is stripped bare, classic and contemporary beats alike taking a backseat to Sullivan, who's either ripping her heart out ("Call Me Guilty") or getting elegantly playful ("Switch!").
Rachel Devitt