Jay Jai – Backseat Diary
Jay Jai – Backseat Diary – EP Review
Well! Someone ate their Wheaties before hitting the studio didn’t they?
Jay Jai’s new EP Backseat Diary is a vibrant mix of pop-music & R&B and right from the opening moments of “Us” comes out crystal-clear and beautifully in the mix right from the drop. Jay Jai has got one hell of a voice and a commanding grip on the microphone; the vocals on “Us” come out smoother-than-smooth…this is straight-up STRUT down melody-lane. Oozing style, rhythm and sentiment – JJ has opened up with a love-song direct; the backing vocals and light pop-style beat give the whole track a ‘hit-single’ feeling and really sparkle & shine throughout this tune. Remaining the star of the show, right where a voice like this should be…Jay fits “Us” perfectly and floats these words with skills, talent, tone & precision right into the music. Fantastic first experience into the music of Jay Jai…I couldn’t imagine asking for a better start to hearing the music of a new artist for the very first time.
Trouble spots hit the second track…not enough to put a hole in the ship big enough to sink it by any means…but…well…”It Is What It Is…”
Here’s the thing…with JJ’s vocals coming out so sparkling, bright, clean and sweet in tone – the dissonant notes from the chorus vocals provide a slightly awkward contrast. Were they all in the same key between the verse & chorus…this idea might have come completely together spot-on – as it stands, it’s a more difficult track to accept as a whole, especially after the immaculate opening tune “Us.” “It Is What It Is” has multiple moments that still standout as excellent, but mostly surrounding the talent of Jay Jai and his confidence in the verse…in many ways I think he saved this song with his performance and made sure it wasn’t something you could consider leaving off the Backseat Diary EP. The complaints…I’m sure he’s already heard them; comparatively this one actually speaks in numbers – the other three songs on the EP are all nearing 20K in their hit-counts or have gone beyond. “It Is What It Is” is still looking for that 2nd K – which honestly I think is a little harsh on this tune; while it might not come out as crafted as the other three tunes, the song still has a ton of merit. I suppose it is what it is.
“Backseat” was another brush-your-shoulders-off-pimp-smooth track from Jay. With a big low-end beat mixed in perfectly against a synth-led melody, he creeps in and out of the words and rhythm like he’s doing surveillance on this song. Of course…subject matter suggests it’s much more of a…ummm…reconnaissance mission…ummm, rather than surveillance per-say. It still firmly showcases the talent of Jay and his gift for vocals delivered in an entertaining and charismatic style and the ending is supremely fantastic; JJ lights up the microphone towards the final moments of “Backseat” with an inspired energy to finish the track in a memorable way.
Saving one of the best for last, “Remember You” is even marked on the Soundcloud page as if to remind us all with ‘single’ right after it…you know…just in case y’all can’t hear with your earholes & such. Besides…we can try to direct the attention one way or the other as much as we like but at the end of the day we’re the station-managers of our own radio-stations and we get to dictate that playlist however we’d like. I’d never take away the label of ‘single’ on “Remember You” – with its smooth effect-laden vocals and subtle-beat, this is one highly effective track that deserves that label for its innovative rhythm & electro-influenced groove and reliably-expert performance from Jay Jai on the mic.
All I’m saying is…shouldn’t the label for “Us” read the exact same way?
Cause I swear on my playlist here at sleepingbagstudios it says ‘“Us”-single.’ Just sayin.’
Check out Jay Jai and what he’s up to at his official Twitter page: https://twitter.com/musicjayjai