[10] Lauryn Hill, ‘Ex-Factor’

Lauryn Hill

Loved by the fashionista and common punter alike, Lauryn Hill’s patchwork soul was lapped up at the end of the 90s, until she disappeared in a puff of, hmm, eccentricity. Since ’99 there’s only been one flabby Unplugged album and the occasional idiosyncratic live performance. It’s a fine line between genius and flinging your marbles all over the show.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was talked up a bit. A cold-eared editor would have cut out a pile of songs and promoted the two excellent ‘hidden’ tracks (hidden tracks aren’t very well-disguised when you have the vinyl, are they?). Whatever, ‘Ex-Factor’ is still beautiful with its ‘Loving You’ tweets and ‘Little Wing’ solos, and it makes you miss her. I don’t think Wyclef Jean was the Fugee we wanted to keep.

After a fragile, under-par weekend, Junior is all perky this morning. Whether it’s Hill’s cooing that’s given her the spark, it doesn’t really matter.

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