2014 has certainly produced its fair share of promising R&B. Tineshe’s debut album Aquarius entered the mainstream thanks to its clever pop-crossover, while Teyana Taylor’s less compromised new LP VII released on Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music label has been pleasing muso ears since debuting last week.
But the one I’ve really been waiting for was released yesterday.
Toronto’s Rochelle Jordan first piqued our interest sometime back in 2011 when she – alongside some other early innovators – began unleashing a futuristic view on a genre many had long given up on; it’s easy to forget now how soiled the word “R&B” was before this period. Since then she released Pressure, a “mixtape” stronger than most albums, along with a number of loose tracks and singles that lead her up 1021.
Together with her long-time collaborator KLSH, Jordan’s new album is a cascade of sentimental lyricism, swirling vocals, lush harmonies and pristine productions. And by “pristine” I really mean they knock effin’ hard. The influences are clearly there and easily traceable, but compared to the aforementioned artists/albums referenced above 1021 stands out as the most authentic and visionary. This album couldn’t exist in any other period of time but now and for that it already gets my vote as one of the best LP’s of the year.
1021 is out now on iTunes and available to stream on Spotify.