– THE QUIET RIOT –
Would I have reviewed new Jacob Collier music anyway? Quite probably, after all my interest was significantly piqued when he recorded With the Love In My Heart with Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley back in November.
But then a good friend of mine shared with me his NPR Tiny Desk Concert (video below) which re-affirmed for me that Collier might just be the most precociously talented musician I have ever seen.
All while dialling down the ‘crazy’… after all Make Me Cry (the first of three tracks performed behind the ‘desk of limited stature’) is an exercise in nominative determinism, such is its simple, strange beauty.
You see, one of the criticisms that is often levelled at Collier is that his music is “too much”. Too grandiose. Too complicated. Too self-indulgent. There’s a sense in which some people feel they stop listening to the performance because their attention has been stolen away by the sheer virtuosity of the performer.
Make Me Cry is different though.
Of course, a close inspection reveals the incredible harmonic and rhythmic dexterity of the piece – after all we’re talking about a child who used to sing Bach chorales with his family because “it’s just so much fun”, who taught himself (and now teaches others) the intricacies of Stevie Wonder’s back catalogue and who worked with MIT to build a tool that allowed him to perform multi-voice harmonies in real-time (debuting the kit as an opener for Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, no less)… oh, and all before he’d released a proper album.
But switch off your muso mind and the piece is just a lovely, lilting melody that lollops along on mainly acoustic guitars with the beautiful harmonies simply filling in the gaps in and around the core melody.
It shows a maturity developing, a newfound confidence and an admirable restraint within the 25-year old polymath that will only see his songcraft improve and, in doing so impress audiences in different ways.
It hints that perhaps his best music is yet to come and, for one who’s already won two Grammy awards, that’s some statement.
Make Me Cry hails from Volume 2 of the promised four-part Djesse project, which is out now through Hajanga records.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND: KEEP YOUR HEAD UP
GIRLS IN AIRPORTS: OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
ANNA MEREDITH: PARAMOUR
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –