Thursday, October 24, 2013

[Album Review] JASMINE - Complexxx

"They got me while I was trying to hang my clothes up on this pole, dammit"

JASMINE was like a breath of fresh air when she first debuted. GOLD was definitely serving some hot R&B realness and sold better than most of her J-Urban peers. The last female solo R&B singer to impress me was Aoyama Thelma, and the only ONE WAY bitch is heading towards now is down six feet under with her career. Complexxx shows JASMINE's move of evolving her sound, with this sophomore effort attempting to mesh together classic R&B with the ubiquitous electropop music today. For an album that kept us waiting 3 years for, there definitely leaves much, much more to be desired, which is ironic for an album titled Complexxx when some songs are just basiccc.

High Flying definitely sets the tone of how the album should be like with its R&B and electronic elements. The placement of the song is just nice but I have no idea why they decided to ruin that by placing Best Partner right next to it. Best Partner is obviously the best song in this album though, so all is well. This and ONLY YOU are probably the closest you will get to the usual JASMINE affair of classic R&B seen on GOLD. I have, however, grown tired of ONLY YOU which is like, 3000 years old? Idk.

Addiction, Touch me on the Beach and B*TCH*S together is like a trio of upbeat, anthemic songs with addictive beats and synth lines. Within a timespan of 10 minutes, you are pretty much able to know about JASMINE's sexual fantasy of propositioning a fuck ("Wanna fuck with me?") before swearing and asking you to fondle her on the beach. The 3 songs pretty much run along the same vein as one another, and are great placed next to one another as they keep the energy going.

Almost halfway through the album, you finally get to hear actual, new material! Wow! I mean, she's called the second Utada Hikaru for a reason after all. However, I felt that while they sound nice, I Hate You and Weekend High somewhat lacks the lush production quality that is present in, for example, Crystal Kay's VIVID. It lacks that OOMPH to really give me a screaming orgasm, and honestly just reminds me of pasar malam music (read: background music played at trashy night markets). They somehow sound like there's a lot of "empty space" in the back, if you know what I mean. Intentional or not, I'll give her props that this makes the album, at the very least, have some form of consistency. I do appreciate the breakdowns in both the songs which adds a little element of surprise ;)

Realize is one of the better album tracks but I don't know if it's just me or if the arrangement is drowning her voice a tad too much, and a little overproduced. The arrangement gets a bit repetitive after a while, a little bit like Utada Hikaru's Take 5, except Hikki's song was not the probable cause of my many recurring pounding headaches the best few weeks.

ONE is just old, but I'm glad that it doesn't stick out on its own in the album. I still like it till this day, and like I said, at least it keeps the album consistent. HERO is still my JAM though, and I'll be there makes a great closure to the album. The song carries that fuller arrangement that I was definitely deprived of for the other new songs and displays the most emotion from JASMINE, making her sound less like she's whining.

Honestly, I took a really long time thinking over this review because I was really on the fence about what to think about this album! To me it was kinda neither here nor there, and after giving it more than enough thought, I still think Complexxx is more of an album dropped while JASMINE is still in her experimental phase. The album is decent and flows consistently, yes. But it's nothing amazing. A gallant effort, but not something I waited 3 years for.

Listen to previews here.


Album highlights: High Flying, Best Partner, Addiction, HERO, I'll be there

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