Reviewed by: Dan Willams
JMSN (pronounced Jameson) hails from the Detroit area and has clearly been influenced by the rich tapestry of its R&B musical influences. His beautiful tenor and falsettos are reminiscent of classic Motown and his occasional rhyming is no doubt environmental as well. While some have attempted to compare his vocals to Usher and Justin Timberlake, I think a better comparison may be to the overall style and production of Frank Ocean, but more that of a smooth, lush crooner. That seems to be his comfort zone.
JMSN’s sophomore album, Blue, follows on the heels of his 2012 critically acclaimed †Priscilla†. Both albums are similar in style: Chill and moody with nice command of analog instruments, electronics and rich vocals. While †Priscilla† had a greater variety of tempo (“Do U Remember The Time” and “Girl”), Blue feels one dimensional. Mid-tempo “Waves” is about as energetic as we get.
JMSN is a skilled musician with deep layers of sound, melodic bass, command of traditional R&B syncopation and rhythms and all things electronic. Blue offers interesting interludes of studio chatter and sexy female voices (“Ocean”) that add variety and depth. The standout cut is “Delay” with its low key Michael Jackson vibe.
If the goal of this well-produced album was to provide a chill sound-scape for a quiet evening over a glass of wine, then it checks all the boxes. If it is to showcase a wider range of R&B mastery and the creative next step for a talented emerging artist, we’ll need to wait until his third release.