Lyfe Jennings

Lyfe Change

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Lyfe Jennings' third album doesn't involve all that much change, at least not on the surface. He does do a little less of the heavy lifting, seeking out some assistance from the Underdogs, Wyclef Jean, and a couple other associates from his Jesus Swings production house, but Lyfe Change is still very much a Lyfe Jennings album -- it's not as if his label directed him away from what came natural throughout 2004's Lyfe 268-192 and 2006's The Phoenix. He continues to spin real-life tales and handle serious issues, as on the skeletal but seductive "It's Real" (where his attraction to a woman shifts from heated to cautionary), the Bob Marley-referencing "Wild, Wild, Wild" (the Wyclef collaboration, about losing your way as the exchange for the seeking of fame), and "Never Never Land" (where he sings of settling down and growing up in every sense, closing with "30 is not the new 20/It's the same old 30"). A couple cuts are lighthearted compared to what's expected from him, and a couple beats are uncharacteristically uptempo, but for the most part, this is another solid Jennings album. Nothing fancy, nothing outrageous -- just humbled, wise, thoughtful modern soul.

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