8.9/10 CERTIFIED FRESH
The Australian based artist (musician, producer, singer, songwriter), Jordan Rakei only began performing for audiences nationwide with his experimental blend of lo-fi soul and jazz at the end of 2013, and ever since his popularity has started to rise in the underground jazz fusion scene. Rakei has been making waves internationally with his inventive and refreshing blend of soul, jazz, and electronic music, turning everything he touches to sheer magic for his listeners. Also, he has collaborated with a varitey of impressive and extremely talented artist like producer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Misch on the song "Wake Up This Day", and the beautiful and serenading Gwen Bunn on the song "Street Light" which is arguably the best song on his last EP, Groove Curse (2014).
Furthermore, from the inception of his debut record, Cloak, Rakei gives a more thoughtful, more passionate, and provocative introspection to romance than many of his contemporaries. Rakei is very transparent about his feelings through all 13 songs on this record, and because of his honesty and ardent vocals, every song has this overwhelming warmth and sensual tone to them . And this is exemplified on the first track of the album "Midnight Mischief" where Rakei sings "...said she called me mister, under misty skies, had to get there quicker, rebel through the night because I truly missed her." Here there is an unwavering desire to be with this woman he so deeply cares for, and when you here Rakei sing his voice fills your body with this lukewarm sensation, the type of warmth you would feel sitting next to a bonfire, his voice is truly something special.
On the song "Snitch", Rakei sings on the chorus "You a snitch, you been working undercover all this time, forming fake friendships telling them lies, taking whats left of mine." Rakei tells an anecdote about how this women's love isn't being reciprocated and how she hasn't been treating him with respect of late, it is really a compelling song and Rakei shines over the big band jazz instrumentation, delivering that warming, soulful, resonating voice once again.
When you first hear the track "Still (Interlude)", the instrumentation sounds almost identical to an ambient track by Shuttle358 titled "Oil Click." The ambient production surprisingly compliments Rakei's style and voice very well as he passionately sings "You and I collide not you necessarily so but your soul.. you and I can dream but my dreams are more vivid, be still with your limitations." This song, even though it runs about only two minutes long is where Rakei shines best because it is much slower in tempo and you can really get the full effect of his voice and better insight into what he is feeling.
In "Cupids Cheese" Rakei gets more playful as he sings over the jazzy instruments that sounds a lot like instrument assortment you would hear on an Indie.Arie record. Rakei shines effortlessly once again as he sings "when the storm is in the streets at night, love lays flat like a rag doll." This song is a much more gracious in its disposition than most on this album because Rakei takes himself out of the predicament of love for a moment and explains the philosophy of love from an omniscient perspective rather than a personal one.
The record, Cloak, is a near flawless start to Rakei’s career. He has already proven himself both vocally and musically to be a serious threat not in just the jazz fusion genre but the R&B and soul genres as well. With a voice that can be compared to Raphael Saadiq and D’Angelo, he has placed himself in the upper echelon of contemporary R&B and jazz artist with just one official album release. With more releases and more exposure Rakei can quickly be in the discussion of one of the greats.
Favorite Tracks: Midnight Mischief, Still (interlude), Theta State, Toko, Snitch,