Whatever was going on in your life in August 1998, Lauryn Hill had a song for you. Her glorious five-Grammy winning magnum opus, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” is a lyrical masterpiece and a musical joyride that deftly goes from hard hitting basslines to churchy piano cords without missing a beat. I used to always say that this album is on that very short list of gems that can be listened to all the way through without skipping over anything, but that’s not entirely true. Though I think the idea of the kids talking about love in the interludes was an inspired choice, I really didn’t want to hear Wyclef and those kids talking every time I listened to her album. Besides that minor nuisance, the album is flawless. Just looking at the lyrics on a screen is enlightening. Listening to those words set to music is the sweetest cherry set atop the most decadent sundae known to man.
The experience of listening to the album now is so bittersweet because the genius of it has not even been approached in the years since it was released, not by Lauryn and certainly not by any other artist. Deservedly, I think “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” will always occupy its own unique space. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing L Boogie come back though. A lot of folks didn’t like her live Unplugged album and I was a little weary of it at first. But now, “Just Like Water” is always in heavy rotation in my iPod. Lauryn Hill is an amazing artist and I really hope she is taking care of herself and that one day she will feel the need to share her talent with the world again.