Album Review: Jean Grae – “#5” EP
Back in November, Jean Grae dropped a 5-track EP, called 5. A bit different from the hip hop queen you expect, Jean explores her R&B side and, boy, does she deliver! Her songwriting takes you through different avenues of love, from falling in love to climbing out of the hole of a broken relationship. Despite the lows that she sings about, though, this is the kind of R&B music that can be the soundtrack to lights-down-low baby-making, put you in the sensual/sexual mood, and/or have your mind racing on this emotional journey that she takes you through. It’s just good music all around.
Her seductive singing voice is like hot butter on a freshly-cooked waffle: smooth, savory, and settling in all the right pockets for supreme goodness. Know what I mean? My favorite tracks are “Nothing”, “Joker”, and “underneathu”. Over a piano-driven instrumental, with thumping kicks and slow snare claps, “Nothing” finds Jean struggling to move forward; stuck in a position she doesn’t care to be in. When I listen to it, I feel as if love or a particular relationship has got her fucked up (whether that’s mentally or emotionally, or both), and she’s unable to think straight, or she’s lost in figuring out where she should go from here… so she’d rather say nothing.
“Joker” is that song you listen to when you are falling in love/on cloud 9 with someone, and just want to hug them tight during long kisses, fly away and be alone together, walk hand-in-hand as you gaze at the sunset, and just make sweet love to them all the time. “Butterflies and sunshine, baby // I can tell that nature loves you // Not as much as I do, lately // You chase all my clouds away // I’m never gonna let go of ya // Happiness is all around me // Let’s run away and build a family // We can catch a flight today.” The beat is funky and fun, the songwriting is fueled by love and happiness, and I love the bouncy melody. “I just wanna hear you say: DO ME, DO ME…” Haha, yessss!
Straight off, the the way the beat moves on “Underneathu” will have your body moving in a sexual manner. Ooowee. The drums are on a slow swing, there’s a low humming bass, a tender, relaxed vocal looping in the background, and a warped sound that I can’t place but sounds like bare thighs creating friction down a brassy slide (weird description, I know). Then, of course, there’s Jean Grae telling her man to do all sorts of sexual things to/with her. “Can you hear it? // That’s the sound of me falling for you.” This is that super hot, baby-making song that you’ve been waiting for! “We can slow it down if I’m moving too fast // I just wanna be // Underneath you.” You gotta listen to this song, and also check out the music video below. It finds Jean Grae and The Everybody’s Pregnant band (starring Jean as “Jean”, Quelle Chris as “Walt Chocolate”, Donwill as “The Mechanic”, Sonnymoon as “Leticia J and Ricky Diamond, Fernanda Meier as “Kiki”), performing the song with comical dance moves and not-safe-for-work pelvis grinds and thrusts, body rolls, and stage crawling. The video is funny and provocative at the same time.
Of course there are the other songs “So Glad It’s Over” and “SFSC”, which are both good, too. Jean Grae did everything on 5, so make sure you give a listen, give credit where it is due, and if you like the album you can buy it for $8 on Bandcamp. You will enjoy it!
From Jean Grae:
“This is #5. I felt like doing something else. So I did. I really enjoy song crafting. The producing, the recording, the writing, the mixing, the everything. It’s short, but grown. Love ya.”