J. Sariah’s upcoming album offers a brilliantly gritty take on modern RnB that’s sure to bring together classic and alternative fans of the genre alike. The Journey has a sound that’s partly retro, partly new, layered with creativity and smooth, emotional melodies – and it’s brilliantly refreshing right now.
Shooting Star as an opening track sets the bar high and lays the foundation beautifully for the talent and escapism that will follow. J. Sariah’s voice has a certain realness about it that carries the song’s sentiment with genuine heart and style. Are You Ready comes afterwards and creates a TLC-like ambiance and yet another thoughtful, heartfelt piece of writing – the pairing of an acoustic guitar riff and an addictively developing melody works well.
Unlike the vast majority of RnB releases of recent years, the length of this project is not the result of simply sporadically compiling a catalogue. The project feels like a classic album, written and arranged in a manner that relates and connects pretty consistently, whilst making sure to hold tight to your interest throughout. As an example, Run It re-builds the mood in a big way, the beat is cool and dark, the melody leans slightly towards hip hop, there’s attitude and energy, and this works well at this point to underline J. Sariah as eclectic and unquestionably passionate about music.
Overthinking follows and sees the playlist evolve even further – this reverb-soaked, ambient dream of a song represents its concept and highlights the strength of its own hook in a brilliant way. An absolute highlight, a memorable and captivating song that leaves its vibe and its key line lingering in your mind long after listening.
Bringing a notable level of reflective emotion to the stage is Revenge – the acoustic guitar returns, the concept provokes interest and a certain level of thinking. J. Sariah holds nothing back, her truth feels genuine and this is presented in both the lyrics and in the sheer passionate tone of the vocal outpouring itself. After this, something like down-tempo indie-pop or trip-hop comes through with Reflection, a song that builds around you the perfect kind of mood – within which these incredibly raw and honest personal declarations stand tall.
This is album is fairly minimalist for the most part, considering today’s usual standards of multi-layered volume and colour. The simplistic touch is refreshing and lets the true talent and heart of the writing shine of its own accord – nothing fake or over-the-top is needed. The softness of the majority of these soundscapes though also means that a song like Break History really stands out for its weight and energy.
J. Sariah veers off in something of a soft-rock direction here, a song with a huge chorus and a notably higher level of intensity and vibrancy. The song is unlike anything that came before, it’s exciting and new, yet still by now you know that voice – the performance style is different, but the voice remains. That inherent eclecticism rings true yet again. This breakaway from the ‘usual’ style represents effectively the song’s own concept of escaping the mold.
After the striking brightness of what came before, H2O2 makes for a blissfully ambient piece with a great melody and a lot of distinctly clever, poetic lyrics. The side genres of recent hip hop come to mind, the likes of Lil Peep and other artists who show no fear in fusing genres and paving their own way entirely. J. Sariah is doing exactly that, following the call of the art and the expression, in whatever form it may take. That’s what makes this album so damn entertaining and easy to re-visit.
Reckless Love sees the instrumentation fall away to the bare essentials – a deeply emotional song, another complex insight in to the artist and her experiences; her thought patterns, her values. After this, Dutty Wine brings things to a beautifully uplifting finish. This reggae-fusion or dance-hall track has a superb vibe and reminds you of the energy and positivity that exists at the core of all of this. Another total highlight and a great way to end the album. The Journey is a must for music fans who’ve tired of the over-saturated world of noisy pop and want something soulful and ultimately real to embrace.
The Journey is J. Sariah’s debut album, releasing July 31st with tracks produced by 3Bubble & J. Gray of Live From The Pentagon Entertainment and DJ Izzy Ill, idreaminstero and Dorothy Chan of Barron Studios in Houston, Texas. Find & follow J. Sariah on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Visit her Website for more information.