Jose James: Blackmagic
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UK release date 11.01.2010
Jose james brings out his soft sensual side to full effect on this delicious delectation of dishes. His effortless style pervades throughout. His aim seems to be "make the ladies feel good" in that case it's just another day in the office because the lad, needlessy to say, succeeds.
There's some curiously bending styles of genres going on here experimental R&B tracks such as 'Warrior' with it's driving displaced beat and plinky plonk synth, hey but wait a sec, the track gives way to some sumptuous jazz piano which sweetly breaks out of the idiom - then it ends on a bass groove with the bass drum speeding up! Some how i'm not explaining this well but it all works! 'Detroit Loveletter' shows the strong songwriting artistry JJ has. Beautiful rhodes drift throughout and funky brushstroked drums chivvy the groove along. His voice is soft, silky and breathy throughout, no vocal histrionics here just a sweet sense of purity and sheer class .More of the same follows with 'Love Conversation'. 'No Tellin' sees JJ take it up a notch where his jazziness shines. A stripped down peach of a tune that leaves you hanging but the next track brings the mood back into the sweet spot, once more.
There's a freshness and uniqueness to this album awash with gorgeous piano and a lascivious lushness that glides over you throughout. Watch out for this very special artist who will be appearing in the UK mid march
Words Emrys Baird