Significant Songs (121)

Ex-Factor

I had waited a long time to hear a voice that grabbed me again. A vocal that was both crystal clear, and packed with soul too. I heard such a voice singing in the American group, The Fugees. Some research led me to discover the name of that singer, and it was Lauren Hill. Unfortunately, I didn’t care that much for the releases from The Fugees. Their mix of cover versions, sampling, and reggae-style tracks failed to inspire me enough to buy their records; although I could see the obvious talents of each member of the line-up.

Fortunately, that group split. And in 1998, I read of a solo release from Lauren Hill. Her debut album ‘The Miseducation of Lauren Hill’ was soon in my CD collection. With a similar overall feel to The Fugees, and an eclectic mix of genres and styles, the main difference was that it featured the voice of Ms Hill, and gave her more scope to impress.

And impress she did. Three tracks were released as singles, and all were huge hits. She was nominated for ten Grammy awards, and won five. The album sold over nineteen million copies, being acclaimed by critics as one of the greatest records of all time.

And then she just stopped.

Unhappy with the music industry, she dropped off of the scene totally. She later had six children, and still occasionally performs. However, she has not released any records since a compilation of songs in 2010. So we really have just that one album to enjoy. But what an album. And what a voice.

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