Join Daisy as she reflects on bangers from the past as a Throwback Thursday. This week’s pick – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill.
Let’s go back to the 90s and listen to one of the best solo album ventures ever created.
Admittedly, I went off Lauryn Hill for a long time after I tried to see her live. But after a while of sulking over her selling out, I have returned to The Miseducation and realised that this album is a timeless masterpiece.
This was her first album after her time with the Fugees. It was also 5 years after her movie debut in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, where she absolutely takes my breath away with her singing voice. Others have attempted to imitate but can never reach Lauryn’s standard.
Now, onto the album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
She initially drew inspiration when she was pregnant with Rohan Marley’s (yes, one of Bob’s sons) first child. This galvanised her to return to the studio where she penned one of the most beautiful tributes to her first child; ‘To Zion’. Plus that beautiful guitar intro from Carlos Santana just leaves me teary it’s that beautiful.
Now, onto one of her biggest hits from the album, Doo-Wop (That Thing). I actually heard this album through my dad (yeah, I know he’s cool and has good taste) and this one was a favourite of his.
I love the video, with the 60s and 90s split screen, which also comes through in the song as she both raps and sings the song. It’s such a great tune to dance around to in the summer.
Then there is Ex-Factor, and no, I’m not talking about the boring reality show that celebrates mediocre music. I am talking about one of the best breakup songs ever written.
Lauryn doesn’t do anything by halves and this song epitomises that. I mean, her ex who made her write and produce this song must deeply regret ever breaking up with her. Also, she throws in the Wu Tang/ Gladys Knight nod with the opening line “it could all be so simple”.
Well, maybe the relationship wasn’t, but the production and effortlessness of this song shows a simplicity rarely heard nowadays in music I find. The likes of Adele and Jessie J cite this as on of their favourite songs, which you can sometimes find in their own music.
Finally, my favourite, which features a young John Legend playing the piano on this track: Everything is Everything.
If you are ever worrying about where your life is taking you, or trying to make sense of the world, just play this and it’ll bring you back to centre to realise that life isn’t worth worrying about most of the time.
Overall, I am glad I went back to this album, because it’s a work of sheer beauty. I have heard that Lauryn has improved her live appearances massively since I was disappointed by her. But even during my embargo, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was an album I missed listening to and, despite my pettiness, I will always have a copy of this album somewhere in my collection.
I do question what would have happened if she made a second solo album or more. But, after my break from listening to her, to then returning to the album, I realised that Lauryn said everything she needed to in that album and nothing more needed to be added.
Let us know your favourite song from the album @pieradiouk