Showing off her versatility, as well as her rage...

Jessie Reyez is a 28 year old, second generation Colombian-Canadian with a distinctive sound. Her outstanding debut album ‘Before Love Came To Kill Us’ explores a relationship breakdown and the heartbreak that ensues, and in opener, ‘Do You Love Her’, Reyez is seemingly feeling pretty vengeful.

She begins with, “I should have f*cked your friends/It would have been the best revenge”, before considering taking the life of her ex to satiate her heartbreak:“If I blow your brains out, I could guarantee that you’d forget her.” She’s not pulling any punches.

Her rage is consistent, but it’s set to a range of sounds on this project. On ‘Deaf’, for example, Reyez’s powerful, furious vocals are laid over a hip-hop beat. “Who are you?,” she asks, full of defiance and attitude. Meanwhile on doo-wop track, ‘Coffin’, her anger is joined by Eminem – the pair previously collaborated on his track ‘Good Guy’ from his ‘Kamikaze’ album – who delivers a strong verse to the twisted love song, embodied by the killer line: “You make me wanna jump off the roof ‘cause I love you to death.”

In ‘La Memoria’, a heartfelt number, Reyez sings entirely in Spanish. In stark contrast, there are tracks like ‘Dope’, which is a banger on which we find the artist almost rapping. The album closes with break-up song ‘Figures’ in which she sings gently: “I gave it all and you gave me shit.”

‘Before Love Came To Kill Us’ has a number of strong tracks and is an excellent debut. Jessie Reyez appears to be in total control of this record and shows off her versatility, as well as her rage.

8/10

Words: Narzra Ahmed

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