Justin’s Album Review: Djesse Vol. 3 by Jacob Collier

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Djesse Vol. 3 is the 3rd album of Jacob Colliers Djesse series. It was released on August 14, 2020 with a few previously released singles. Jacob Collier is a musical prodigy. He learned piano at a young age and has perfect pitch. Perfect pitch allows him to determine a note by just listening to the pitch. He also is a multi-instrumentalist and a singer. There isn’t much Jacob can’t do and this album proves that. Prior to listening to this album, I had listened to the all of the albums singles as well as some of his other songs.

I will be grading this album off of the first listen and listens after/replay ability. I will end the review going over influence and final thoughts. All scores will be out of 7.

First Listen:

The album opens with a song titled CLARITY. This sounded the way the album cover looked. That’s probably the best way to describe it. There weren’t any lyrics.

Next up was Count The People (feat. Jessie Reyez & T-Pain). I was expecting T-Pain to rap in it but Jacob was rapping!? I strive to be as talented as this man. He can do all those things I mentioned previously and rap too I guess. Jessie and T-Pain provided great vocals. I noticed a few words in Spanish appearing throughout the track. The song had a space feel like CLARITY as well as a Central/South American sound. I heard everything from Synthesizers to Banjos in there. I absolutely loved this track and was excited to hear more.

Next up was In My Bones which I had heard before. It kept that futuristic space sound from earlier and added a lot of great percussion and bass. I can’t talk about this song without mentioning the bass. I’m actually going to only talk about the bass. After listening to this, I needed to look up who was playing the bass. It was MonoNeon. I recognized him from seeing him on Instagram a few years ago. Apparently he has worked with Prince. That’s quite the thing to have on a resume. The song was also great.

Time Alone With You was next. This was another one of the singles off the album. A lot slower than the last 3 songs. The layered vocal harmonies across the track really caught my attention. Daniel Caesar was a great feature on this track. At this point in the album, there wasn’t any apparent theme. That’s not a bad thing at all. This song seemed to be about love but nothing more than that. I was reminded of Thriller by Michael Jackson. Thriller is an album with a few themes of love here and there and fantastic music. This album has been similar to Thriller in that sense. Overall, the song was smooth and sounded very refined.

All I Need was the next song. It had a good transition from Time Alone With You. If you know me, I love a good song transition. While it’s a good song, I’ve already heard it a lot. I do recommend the version of it he recorded in his bathroom for Jimmy Kimmel Live. I will add a link to it at the end of the review.

I didn’t like In Too Deep that much. It’s not a bad song but I didn’t like it very much. I did like the instrumentation. There was trap drums as well as that Eastern Asian string instrument I don’t know the name of right now.

Butterflies was the 7th track of the album. I felt a bit sad listening to this song. It just wasn’t as exciting as the others. The song itself still sounds good. This is all my opinion and all though I don’t like the some that much, I still think it’s a good song.

Sleeping On My Dreams was quite a surprise. This song was a lot more upbeat than the last 2. I actually really enjoyed this one. The chorus was just so catchy. While the last 2 songs felt like a down point to me, this was really good.

Running Outta Love was also excellent. Tori Kelly was great. I didn’t know her prior to this song. Her and Jacob just sound great together. Instrumentation was pretty simple. It seemed to just be bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals. That space quality from earlier started to come back at the end.

Light It Up On Me was quite the experience. Companies should use this song to sell headphones to people. This whole album sounds great in headphones due to Jacob really taking advantage of stereo audio. Lyrically, not much happens in this song.

He Won’t Hold You was another single off the album. This song is beautiful and probably the most capable of making someone cry off of the album. I just can’t express how great this song sounds. Rhapsody was the perfect feature. Although she’s just speaking, it sounds so melodic. The layered harmonies Jacob used aren’t something you hear everyday (Unless you listen to him everyday).

To Sleep is the last song off the album. On the music video for this song, someone described this song as sounding like a warm hug. The way Jacob mixes ambient sounds with instruments and vocals in this song is fantastic. I couldn’t begin to name all the instruments used in this song.

While the album began great and ended great, I can’t forget the middle. Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t like In Too Deep or Butterflies. It really dragged down my first listen. After those 2, the rest of the album just didn’t pull me in enough. I could understand why someone may turn it off after Butterflies. Although those were the low for me, it wasn’t that low. For how high the highs were, the lows really weren’t that low. I give my first listen a 5.5/7.

Listens after/Replay ability

I gave this album a few days before listening to it again. While I didn’t listen to the entire thing in order, I did listen to most of the tracks. The more I listened to the album, the less I cared for All I Need or Time Alone With You. Those 2 songs are what sold me on listening to the album but I feel as if every other song out did them. I began to feel as if Jacob made a mistake releasing so many singles or singles at all. If you listen to this album, please don’t listen to all of the singles. I advise you just listen to it with headphones front to back. I really wish I waited until the full thing came out to give it a listen.

One of the true gems of this album wasn’t even a single. Count The People is just so good. I could go on forever about this one. Out of the non-singles, Count The People and Sleeping On My Dreams are my favorites. My favorites out of the singles would be In My Bones and He Won’t Hold You. I also noticed this pattern with more ambient sounding songs. CLARITY, Light It Up On Me, and To Sleep seem to fit this category. They aren’t very lyrical but are by all means impressive. Butterflies is more of a combo of those ambient songs and the regular ones. I truly began to appreciate this album the more I listened to it. This album is very replayable and grew on me. I give this category a 7/7.

Influence and final thoughts

I can hear a lot of Jacobs influences on this album. Everywhere from The Beatles to Boy 2 Men to Parliament-Funkadelic. Compared to the rest of Jacobs music, this is definitely more in the realm of pop than anything else. The album is categorized as R&B/Soul but it’s so much more. Jazz, Funk, R&B, Soul, Pop, Ambient, Psychedelic, and many more genres come to mind. The featured artists on this album all felt pretty necessary to the songs. I will however make an exception for Ty Dolla $ign. I don’t think he added much to All I Need but maybe he aided in producing so I’m not 100% sure.

I am really looking forward to Jacobs future projects. I hope to see him continue in this pop direction. Maybe even one day I’d like to hear him on the radio. If I begin to hear microtones, non-western instruments, and complex layered vocal harmony in pop music, I am crediting Jacob Collier. Until then, I give Djesse Vol. 3 by Jacob Collier a 6/7.

Listen to Djesse Vol. 3 and check out Jacobs alternate version of All I Need: