Raw emotions and strained vocals almost always mean you are listening to Jessie Reyez. Her words are powerful as she brings us through her struggles with life and love. Being Human In Public is Reyez’s first full-length project following the release of a vast number of singles and an EP. I first discovered the Canadian singer from an interview she gave to 94.5 (Boston’s hip-hop station) following the release of her first track “Figures” and was immediately hooked. I will tell you right up front, some of you may hate how rough and raw her voice sounds, however, that is what makes Reyez unique.
For years, Reyez had been told she can’t sing and that she puts too much emotion into her music. Luckily for us, she stuck with things and pushed past the haters to prove she has some serious pipes. Being one of the many breakout stars of R&B in 2017, we only really saw singles released. It wasn’t until this past October that we finally saw her first studio record. I think Reyez’s imperfection is her own perfection. It’s raspy, individualistic, and seems to give her her own personality. She also is a solid songwriter, with tracks like “Saint Nobody” and “Sola”, which is in Spanish (she is of Columbian descent), demonstrating personal storylines of struggle, love, and pain. Her lyrics throughout hit on these themes while also focusing on sexuality, loyalty, and her rising fame. Plus, one can’t talk about this album without mentioning some perfectly fitting features from JRM, Kehlani, and Normani.
Throughout Being Human, the first thing you focus on is not necessarily the beats. They aren’t poor or anything, Reyez’s voice just seems to stand in the forefront throughout. Tim Suby did much of the production for the record and he did a knock-up job at that. The beats flow and vibe with Reyez’s vocals and emotions while adding some clean hi-hats balanced by a thumping bass. However, only two tracks really stand out with their beats, that being “F**k Being Friends” and “Imported”. They seem to fit the most with Reyez and work well with the other tracks throughout.
Unfortunately, the album was only seven songs and of those, six were released as singles. Therefore, it didn’t really feel like this project added much value to what fans already had. Sure, we got to hear how the songs ebbed and flowed together, but there just wasn’t anything new. The mixings and transitions were clean, but next time, we need at least a few new songs.
“Saint Nobody”, “Apple Juice”, and “Imported”
I like Jessie Reyez a lot and I think she has a lot of room to grow and become someone special. However, strange releases like this album just hurt that potential. She has a beautiful, unique voice and a solid back up with the beat production, but with a lack of new songs on this project, it seems she hasn’t been as focused in that department. That being said, Being Human In Public gets a:
As much as this was a bit of a disappointment for me, I have a feeling she will continue to get better and continue to “work like a motherf**ker!”