R&B Sensation, Jaquiel THEVOICE, Drops Smooth New Album
If you haven't heard Jaquiel THEVOICE yet, then pay attention. Based in New York, the arts-educated singer-songwriter works hard to merge melody and meaning. Today, he drops his latest project, a full-length record called The NATURAL ProJect, featuring 11 tracks of smooth, catchy R&B-infused tunes.
The NATURAL ProJect opens with the 30-second "Prologue," fizzling with sketch sounds and warbling dialogue, followed by "I Can Fly," an upbeat jazzy anthem that first introduces us to Jaquiel's silky voice. Next comes the radio-ready hip-hop anthem "Ride," pulsing along with throbbing bass and organic percussion beneath more sleek vocals singing sultry lines like "Do you trust my hands at the wheel with your body on the passenger side?"
On "Beautiful," the vibe changes from sexy to sweet. Gentle, insistent rhythms offer a sparkly arrangement as Jaquiel croons endearing sentiments during this sugary love song. "In My Thoughts Pt. 1" comes next, a 30-second interlude dabbling in fresh rain sounds and a gorgeous guitar line that's over just as soon as it comes. "Out Of Love" finds Jaquiel spitting an effortless and poetic soliloquy before launching into a velvety R&B ballad combining elements like twinkling keys, distant harmony, and a quick hip-hop hook. Following that genre-bending magic moment of the record is "In My Thoughts Pt. 2," one minute of old-fashioned low-key funk instrumentation.
"Searching" begins with a jangling piano beat before Jaquiel's soulful voice comes in, stretching across moments of melodic falsetto and light tenor, another pretty ballad to lull you to sweet dreams. On "All She Wanted," Jaquiel THEVOICE showcases his stream-of-consciousness songwriting skills and vocal range -- yet another highlight of the record. "Hurt Sometimes" comes next, an introspective and desperate R&B track that finds smooth vocals leading a subtle, bittersweet arrangement. The NATURAL ProJect ends with "Slow Down The World," an intriguing piece that offers minimal coffee-shop instrumentation while Jaquiel's voice is at its best; steady and tender, breathy at some points with expert delivery throughout the acoustic tune tinged with tropical nuances.
The NATURAL ProJect is an enchanting compilation of catchy R&B anthems and soulful ballads to swoon over. Throughout it all, Jaquiel THEVOICE remains unwavering in his unrivaled vocal talent. Thoughtful piano-based arrangements and fuzzy multi-instrumental rhythms provide enough variety to keep the record moving, an addictive experiment from a gifted up-and-comer.