Drake protégées Majid Jordan release their debut full length album 2 years after the digital release of the e.p. “A Place Like This” from 2014.
Powered by the lead-off hit-single “My Love” featuring their bearded mentor and label boss, the duo, comprised of T-Dot born Jordan Ullman and Bahrain native Majid Al Maskati, have constructed a set of hypnotic, futuristic dance tunes that echo both The Weeknd and the 1982 sci-fi classic “Blade Runner.”
With vocals heavily influenced by Michael Jackson with the duo’s production overseen by beat king Noah “40” Shebib, the album sounds like a new space age rendition of poppish r’n’b.
The album opener “Learn From Each Other” has a new millennium approach to garage house: infectious chord changes with a soulful chorus which grabs the first-time curious listener by the dancing shoes.
“Shake Shake Shake” is an up-tempo ditty that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the “Flash Dance” soundtrack. “Love Is Always There” makes for interesting vocal special effects in a reverberated keyboard-laden dance work-out.
The ballad “King City” comes correct with a much more mature musical arrangement, although the vocals at times get lost with a little bit too much effects on this go-round.
The album closer “Every Step Every Way” ends things on a smooth note with a funky house-like groove leaving the listener anxiously waiting the sophomore groove machine.
“Cheers To The Fall” – Andra Day – Warner Bros. Records
Spokane, Washington born Andra Day is quite simply the talk of the music industry. If not recording an Apple holiday commercial with Stevie Wonder, racking up Grammy nominations or touring with Lenny Kravitz, the new Lady Day is taking the music world by storm.
She doesn’t disappoint on her debut set. Opening the album with the single “Forever Mine” with its reggaesque sensual groove which sounds almost like a reworking of the 1959 Flamingos hit “I Only Have Eyes For You”.
Day’s admitted fondness for Billie Holiday is more apparent in attitude rather than vocal style as her jazzy vox emit both confidence and vulnerability all at once.
On the ballad “Not Today” backed by a moody piano accompaniment is highlited by a chorus refrain that makes Day’s haunting vocals sound a thousand miles away.
The Raphael Saadiq produced “Gin & Juice”(Let Go My Hand) with its tremolo guitar under Day’s bluesey chops brings Etta James to mind. The pop rock of “Honey Or Fire” could have done by Pat Benetar in the early 80’s, showing Day’s reluctance to be musically pigeon-holed. The Latin-tinged “Only Love” really showcases the richness of Day’s voice with an arrangement that the late Amy Whinehouse would have died for (no pun intended).
The album high point; the hit-single “Rise Up”, performed at The White House for U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her “Better Make Room” education campaign aimed at American teens.
Day sings; “You’re broken down and tired of living life on a merry-go-round and you can’t find the fighter but I see it in you so we gonna walk it out”. This is the age of Andra Day indeed. – rating – 8/10