Singer, rapper and producer, Jean Grae, released her latest project, #5, this weekend. It can be described as “short, but grown” according to her own description of the project. She “felt like doing something else”, so she did. Despite it only having five songs, it really captures your attention and inflicts different emotions as the project progresses.
The EP begins with the song “nothing”. Led by a sweet piano loop, echoing background vocals and a simple drum loop, you are brought into a very mellow world. The Neo-Soul inspired song has a clear Jill Scott late 90s vibe that brings a sense of nostalgia to it.
Songs such as “So Glad It’s Over” tell the story of a relationship gone wrong. Although not a new topic, especially for Jean Grae, her approach, both lyrically and in the use of production, really feels refreshing in some sense. It can feel a little triply, like you’re listening to an Eryka Badu song circa 2000 and that’s why it’s amazing.
At times, the project can feel a tad repetitive. You may feel as if the beat should change here or there. Depending on personal taste the echoing trippy background vocals might become a turn off. The repetitive production isn’t anything that force you to turn #5 off but it definitely might hinder your listening experience and make you unlikely to replay the project once more in it’s entirety.
After playing all 5 songs, I can say I was impressed to a degree with what I heard. Some songs shine more than others but each song shined in their own ways. Although I would not play this project again in it’s entirety, I can definitely see myself playing individual songs from time to time. You can listen to #5 on Jean Grae’s band camp here and purchase the project for $8.
By: Romel Lherisson