“Cross My Mind” Jill Scott

Jill ScottGood news: Jill Scott can talk as gorgeously as she can sing.  “Cross My Mind,” from 2004’s Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2, is sexily, gleefully casual, opening with Scott saying to no accompaniment, “I was just thinkin’ about you,” then joined by a simple two-chord keyboard melody, “wondering if you wear the same cologne,” recorded with such a jones for Scott’s conversational tone that you can hear her lick her lips before “wondering.”  She has wondered a lot about her ex’s cologne, it seems – she asked a new lover to try the same brand and found it still didn’t match the original incarnation, worn by a man who “had that masculine thing down” and “would turn me on” just by “the way you walked into a room, across a room, out of the room.”  Bound together by a soaring melody of “You just run across my mind,” the small talk of what Scott remembers of her former lover become as warm and sensuous for the listener as she remembers them.  She eventually does this talk thing so melodically, she imagines telling her man how amazing he is, but it turns into a soaring, sexual melody of how he could “spread my limbs across continents.”  The melody of that chorus – the reason, I think, the song’s idiosyncratic talking is so effective – is so infectious, who knows what’ll cross your mind while this man’s crossing Jill’s.  Scott has a line about “sending a 2-way” that, for those of you less historically inclined, is a 2003ish reference to what texting is now, but I remember texting someone during that line too.  We’re, hopefully, fortunate to have our memories of feeling desired, of having someone that struck a note in who we were by the way they smelled or walked into a room.  I wish Beautifully Human were a more solid record – it’s too long and fancifully repetitive – but it did leave space for songs like “Cross My Mind” that soar on the reality of Scott’s experience and melifluous voice.  The woman’s so gifted, you wait for a record that’s all dirty confessions – in fact, she tried, with mixed results, two years later on The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, an album overwhelmed by bedroom-ready cuts.  It makes sense that Scott realized this was her strong suit – “Cross My Mind” is seduction and rationality dueling with a charm that’s like a flirtation pushed to a breaking point.


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