Guest writer Ashton James Brown (aka Ashtronomic) reviews Jordan James’ Love Waves EP.
South London based R&B crooner Jordan James has been making some noise for a while, releasing his début the Cheeky Bastard EP in the spring of 2012. Where as that project was much more of a Hip-Hop focused affair tinged with R&B influences, Love Waves is straight up slick alternative R&B that sonically draws from a plethora of influences. These combined with Jordan’s throwback vocal tone make for an enjoyable listening experience.
The first of the four tracks, Cruisin, was produced by Jordan himself, and features an effective yet not too overly complicated production style. The production evokes an atmosphere not unlike the subject matter of the lyrics, in which he croons about enjoying the company of his love interest while riding through a generic city environment. The vocals mesh well with the production, and the harmonies within the hook are layered well. The second track is titled “Regina’s Interlude”, which in my opinion is the stand out song of the entire project. The Selasi HD produced track harkens back to days gone by, with its drum pattern and faint airy synth within the background of the song. It may not be the most apparent element of the song, but it adds to the general feel and quality of the production. The lyrical content of this song is somewhat generic and typical of the genre, with Jordan serenading a girl that he is in love with with sweet nothings (How he loves her smile, telling her how precious she is to him etc.) (Then again this project is called Love Waves, so what was I expecting?). The hook although repetitive is a joy to listen to and is incredibly well sung by Jordan, the harmonies again being a strong point.
The third song is called “Loving In Sin”, and was produced by Reiss G. In this track Jordan regales us with tales of his amorous tendencies. The ambient synth “texture” that underpins this track works incredibly well with the other elements of the production and Jordan’s vocal tone. Although not as subtle and well produced as Regina’s Interlude, this is a strong song none the less. The final and weakest song in my opinion is a “reinterpretation” (well it’s a cover, but it does deviate enough from the original that it can be seen as something other than just a simple retread) of Craig David’s seminal UK Garage hit “Fill Me In”. The production (handled this time by Gerald Jacobs) is nice, but that’s all it is. The rather simplistic drum pattern detracts away from Jordan’s well sung vocals. It’s a good track but it isn’t necessarily a track that is good enough to conclude a project of this nature.
Despite its flaws (which aren’t in any way major), I did genuinely enjoy this project. The airy ambient alternative R&B that borrows heavily from the past. was a joy to listen to, and Jordan’s vocals were a highlight for me. Love Waves is by no means perfect, but Jordan does show a lot of promise and I shall be looking for more of his work in the future.