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.
Words: Narzra Ahmed
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