Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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Jacob Collier: Djesse Vol. 3 (Decca/UMO)

Jacob Collier: Djesse Vol. 3 (Decca/UMO) album review



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UK release date 14.08.2020

Jacob Collier is one of those acts that split people right down the middle. He's the musical equivalent of marmite (and I told him that personally! Lol) it seems that many people have some issue with him and the ways he thinks and talks about music. Music theory is just that… ‘theory’. If he is sharing his theories on music, that sounds like the definition of a music theory to me? So let's give the kid a break because the proof is always in the damn pudding!

So, apart from the received English and cringeworthy rap on the otherwise inventive, “Count The People”, he's come up with an ambitious set of songs that will get tongues wagging. Collier has discovered r&b and sex and it's not before time! Sometimes he thinks he's Bruno Mars and other times a one-man barbershop quartet. One thing he does is keep his Britishness throughout. The neo-soul vibe is strong and the special guests bounce off this enfant terrible in an emphatic and sassy way. Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Kiana Ledé, Kimbra, Mahalia, Rapsody, T-Pain, Tank and The Bangas, Tori Kelly and Ty Dolla $ign all put their four pennyworths in. Their voices accompany him on his electronic journey into a world unlike anything fans have experienced from him.

He’s, no doubt, super talented but immature and juvenile on a few of these tracks too. However, when he does shine he is superb, take “He Won't Hold You”, it's a peach of tune, up there with D'Angelo. He's generous too, letting Tank & The Bangas steal his thunder on the exhilarating “In My Bones” - his stacked vocals ping pong perfectly with Daniel Caesar's hoody vocals on the smokey “Time Alone With You”. This brace of tunes is stunning. There's no doubt he's pushed the boat out in true J Dilla weirdness and fashion but in my humble opinion, he definitely works best with cool guests. Word!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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