Jordan Rakei - 'Origin'

8/10

Despite this now becoming his third studio album, the name of Jordan Rakei has remained rather obscure up until this point. The New Zealand-born, Australia-raised and now Britain-based frontman has been a strong and progressive name in the world of neo-soul as far back as his debut EP 'Groove Curse' back in 2014, but thanks to a string of notable collaborations, including his work with Loyle Carner, the artist has seen his name explode in the last year or so, leading many to discover his older work for the first time and make this new record his most high-profile to date.

From the start, Rakei looks to make a grand impression with this new collection. As a master songwriter and meticulous producer, the sound of 'Origin' makes for an extremely bold and diverse listen. Keeping his mellow and tranquil voice very much a part of the musical instrumentation of this new release, he is able to construct a sweeping and sometimes ethereal tone throughout the album in order to bring a higher level of grandeur to his sound. Taking influence from the likes of Sampha and Kaytranada, the frontman looks to make this rather organic sounding release as futuristic as possible, adopting new technologies to compliment his incredibly down-to-earth demeanour.

While there are plenty of artists working in this evolving RnB-laden style, very few have managed to deliver something as competent as 'Origin'. Keeping the general aesthetic as playful as possible to prevent it slipping into more pretentious territory, this new full-length not only cements Jordan Rakei as the master composer he deserves to be, but also gives us one of the most uplifting albums of the year so far.

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