ALBUM REVIEW: JORDAN RAKEI – THE LOOP | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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Released: 10.05.24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Known for effortlessly shapeshifting through genres whilst intricately woven themes, Jordan Rakei’s fifth studio album is a deftly managed combination of trademark sounds and surprising twists.

The first album to be released since his recent signing at Decca, The Loop feels ambitious in its cinematic orchestration, whilst still honouring the intimate softness that makes Rakei’s music so special.

From the delicate romance of the opening track Flowers, to the hazy distortion and suspended chords in Miracle, it’s an album that really benefits from being heard in its entirety, taking you on a musical journey.

The album eases you in with gentle, soulful moments, Rakei’s sultry vocals drawing you in with understated power. Though there’s a mellifluous quality to everything Rakei touches, there are enough twists and turns in this sound world to keep you on your toes.

Moving seamlessly through the more commercial sounds of Friend or Foe – with the kind of accessible and radio-friendly rhythms that are bound to appeal to the masses – Rakei introduces notes of funk, jazz and gospel that add richness and variety without sounding tokenistic.

The real gems lie in the second half the album. Lush, romantic and expansive in their musical and narrative ambition, tracks like Hopes and Dreams and Learning absorb you entirely. Rakei’s use of repetitive instrumentation allow you to focus on his storytelling, with subtle flares in his vocal line that showcase the range he’s capable of.

The closing track is a thoughtfully crafted resolution to the album – complex and layered with sumptuous vocals, A Little Life is a rare beast at over five minutes long without feeling forced or repetitive.

Unsurprisingly polished and musically diverse, The Loop is an uninhibited soul-bearing piece of work from an artist who can devastate and seduce you in a single breath.

 

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