Oct 28, 2014

Editorial: #Drift - @SirElijahBlake Album Review

Is he next up for R&B success?

Elijah Blake has been making a wee bit of noise in 2014 (noise haha, music, get it? okay). He features on Common's album Nobody's Smiling. Perhaps opinionated but I think his assist on Real might have been the deal breaker on that album. Blake also dropped a two part EP set titled Free earlier this year. Fast forward to a few months ago, Drift is his latest project and indeed the best in his discography thus far. Let's get to it.

Drift left me with a melancholy feeling, the feeling any authentic sounding R&B project would. Track one for the Roc Nation artist starts off with Wicked. It's upbeat, full of complex percussion and electric melodies. The perfect way to start off the album. Track two, Come Away brings in that same catchy sound. Smooth falsettos compliment the music well. Vendetta is the next song. It has a likely feature from labelmate J. Cole. Cole echoes through the hook and has a verse of his own catching the darker theme perfectly. Imagination follows directly after as the first real love ballad on the album. This is one of those songs that while you listen you can just lay up with your girl, run fingers through her hair and reflect. Acoustic guitars smooth out the listen as Blake scats about his dream woman "A figment of my imagination." Strange Fruit is the next track. I still think he should have named it "Forbidden Fruit," but perhaps he thought it was too cliche. Strange fruit suggests Billie Holiday rather than the Garden of Eden temptation kind of theme from the video. This is the lead single and months later I can still listen to it on repeat. Quicksand was equally eerie but might be the only skip on the album. Track seven is titled 6 (go figure). I think this track was the most memorable. I couldn't exactly call it depressing but you feel for the 6-year-old Elijah Blake. He told a tale of his childhood where he lied to his parents and got a beating for it. It was childish. The problem is he's still dealing with issues a child would at 23. It leads directly into a part two called Fallen where he repeats "Who's gonna catch the Fallen..." This closes out the album with serenity and finesse.

Elijah Blake has Frank Ocean's songwriting prowess and James Fauntleroy's ability to falsetto on cue. His hooks are catchy and have it's own substance as well. Drift start to finish had all the intangibles for a debut R&B album. This had the perfect mix of pop songs, love ballads, and boot knockers. It wasn't too lengthy and told the story with just eight tracks. Drift reminds me of the Lonny Breaux Collection (well if you took 8 of the best songs off the 65 track tape). Perhaps he will collab with his Roc Nation teammate in the near future. If I had to name a rookie of the year Elijah Blake would be my first nomination no question. Drift gets a 4.4 of 5 stars on the Ramsey Rating Scale.
Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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