Air. Space. Nothingness. These are some of the most important ‘instruments’ in music. Timing. Restraint. Elegence. Negative space. The things that sit in between the notes. Or rather the things that don’t sit between the notes. These are the first things I noticed as I was gently eased, yet quickly submerged in the opening track of the “Jessica Lauren Four”. Like a train ride where the visuals become cinema, where your thoughts combine with the music. It’s only track one and I’m already under its spell. The track ends and the space continues. Its design is clearly a part of the experience. The second track melts in and it is clear that the segueing of tracks is also carefully considered, the experience has been gently mellow and now strings are welling up and I’m uplifted. Bliss. Track 3 again segues wonderfully and then quickly becomes intense. The “Happiness Train” rolls down the track, mimicking a train ride again, complete with train whistles and ascending percussive momentum. Then the booming voice of Jocelyn Brown comes in and the ride becomes an unstoppable classic R&B groove, thrilling, rolling, engaging, until it rolls off into the distance. We’ve arrived somewhere new. A gentle latin groove. The experience has been deep, stunning and intense so far and it continues in this vein.
And so, I could continue but hopefully you get the idea by now. From start to finish this album is quite an amazing journey. Wonderful. Sublime. There is just the right amount of everything, never feeling there is too much going on at any time. It’s finely played and considerably well put together with a huge dose of feeling. Towards the end, Jocelyn Brown comes in again with “I Believe”, deep, spiritual and hypnotic, leading into to the dreamy “Swamp Thing” before the journey ends with the one jazz track “Mr. G” that almost fits a convention. Almost.
I haven’t heard anything quite like this. And I doubt you will have either. It’s a wonderful album with the power to turn a stressful day into an escapist dream that’s a deep, deep groove, mellow and uplifting. Jessica Lauren Four is a blissful listen.