Album Review: Jean Grae – “SAIX” EP
Back in June, New York emcee / singer Jean Grae released a couple of EPs that I wanna share, but this first post is going to revolve around her new R&B project. Following her #5 EP, which I thoroughly enjoyed, SAIX finds Jean Grae taking that sexy R&B path once again, and I am all for it! Get it, girl.
Through 6 songs, she sings about sex, love, and relationships, over beats led by thumping drums, heavy use of bass, thick synths, and body-grooving rhythms. The first 3 songs were produced by Jean Grae and the last 3 songs were produced by Quelle Chris. Some of the content is NSFW, too, so I wouldn’t go blasting this at your cubicle speakers anytime soon (especially “‘Bout U”). The whole project is a pleasure to listen to, but my favorite songs are “‘Bout U”, “The Range”, “Slide”, and “Cliche”. Let me talk little bit about those three.
I was vibing to the first song, called “‘Bout U“, pretty heavily before moving onto the next, because her lyrics were written from a place of being hypnotized by love/lust; you know that feeling where you can’t get someone out of your head or your heart (and you don’t want to)? Peering into the peephole of her private thoughts, the hook goes, “Can’t stop fuckin’ thinkin’ ’bout you // Can’t stop thinkin’ ’bout fuckin’ you.” Whew, yeeeeeah, I feel that.
Jean Grae’s sensual lyrics tip-toe on “The Range“, and her voice is soft, warm, and echoes or stretches in all the right areas. I really like the slow crawl of this one, especially the beat–hearing the hushed hi-hat tapping, pounding kicks, and a hypnotic keyboard all throughout, really puts me in a feel-good, mellow mood.
First things first, the beat on “Slide” is dope! Between the groovy bassline and head-nodding drums, there’s this choatic, crunchy middle that sounds like a bunch of metal parts are crashing into one another. Quelle Chris made it funky, and Jean Grae’s seductive R&B vocals brings the sexy. I like when the beat pauses for a brief moment during most of the alluring hook…and then during the hook towards the end, we then hear some heavy breathing. This is most definitely that cool sex jam.
“Cliche” has pounding kicks that don’t quit, crunchy snares, haunting synth lines, and it’s an energetic electronic tune. Through singing and a little bit of rapping, Jean Grae poetically illustrates the blissful, yet unexpected feeling of falling in love, and going through the motions of being in and building a relationship. Along with Jean, it also features Denmark Vessey on the hook. Embracing all the cliche sayings about how it feels to be on cloud 9, the hook is fun to sing-along with: “Love // Comes in all types of shapes, and shades, and colors, you know // The feel // La-la-la-la-la-la // I know it’s kind of cliche to saaaay // That my heart skipped a beat–two beats // The moment you caaaame my waaay // La-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la” (forgive me if I got any of that wrong, haha). It’s such a fun hook and a good song. The beat plays out for awhile at the end, too, right up until Denmark comes in to instruct us to put our hands in the air if we’ve ever loved someone. -Hands up.
There are two other songs on this EP, of course, but those 4 listed above are my favorite. Click play on the Bandcamp player below, and then go buy it for $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous). You won’t regret it.