Your Choice Way

Rochelle Jordan - Play With the Changes Music Album Reviews

Rochelle Jordan - Play With the Changes Music Album Reviews
The Toronto singer’s latest is a time capsule of moody 2010s R&B, distinguished by its introspection and near-claustrophobic melancholy. 

You’ve heard Rochelle Jordan’s sound, even if you can’t place her songs. Throughout the early 2010s she released several mixtapes leading up to 2014’s 1021: all solid, all lost amid a flood of similarly moody Torontonian R&B. As her new album implies, afterward came changes: a move to Los Angeles, a few years lost to health complications and a stagnating record deal. What didn’t change was her core group of collaborators—producers KLSH, Machinedrum, and Jimmy Edgar—with whom she slowly crafted Play With the Changes, out on L.A. DJ Tokimonsta’s label Young Art.

The album is a 2010s time capsule of introspective R&B, Jordan’s diaphanous vocals floating over tracks inflected with quiet storm and UK garage. This is still very well-trod territory, but Jordan’s music distinguishes itself with an almost-claustrophobic melancholy. “Love U Good” begins the album, as Jordan sings, “a little closed off,” and while the song unfurls—a few blue chords, a skittering beat—the effect remains hushed, less open space than inner headspace.

What’s remarkable is how Jordan maintains the vibe even as she whirls through genres. “All Along” is lush, loud, unabashed New Jack Swing, featuring Jordan’s most acrobatic vocals on the breakdown. “Situation” advances a couple of years, to the turn of the century and its bounty of UK garage. “Something” is Jordan’s most explicit Aaliyah homage yet, featuring her inimitable stop-start, nimble-slow vocal style and a melodic near-quote of “Are You That Somebody.” Each of these tracks, though, rest upon moody chords and break apart into a cloud of sighs: There is a palpable, inescapable vulnerability throughout.

As the tracks become more restrained, Jordan’s vulnerability becomes more explicit. “Count It” is a prickly ode to the importance of having a “fuck off fund,” in which she reassures herself that a breakup might leave her lonely, but not destitute. “Broken Steel” describes, literally, the instrumental—it’s a track of mechanical-sounding clanking, with an occasional faint metallic buzz in the background—and figuratively, as she and rapper Farrah Fawx lament expectations of superhuman strength because of their demeanor and race. Jordan goes deeper on prayerlike “Lay,” which depicts anxiety over the possibility that a Black friend or partner might not make it home. Over a somber chord progression that repeats and ruminates, Jordan gives her partner a plea, vocals heavy with care: “Drive safely, text me when you get there, keep me up to date if you’re running late.”

Best encapsulating the mood is the penultimate track “Dancing Elephants”—as in, the kind in the room. Structurally it’s a by-the-book house track, from the timing of the buildup and breakdown, to the contours of the hook. But the beat’s a little too rigid to be carefree, the vocals blank and cool. Like the rest of the album, it’s not quite meant for dancing away the pain. It’s music for dancing through it.
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Rochelle Jordan - Play With the Changes Music Album Reviews Rochelle Jordan - Play With the Changes Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 Rating: 5

0 comments:

Post a Comment