Artist: Jacob Collier
Album: In My Room
Release Date: 07/01/2016
As a musician the journey from Youtube sensation to Quincy Jones protege is one of the more unusual paths to take, but for Jacob Collier and his debut In My Room this is simply a natural progression. Gifted with a rich and vibrant bass, Collier’s voice has been perhaps the greatest asset to the young, multi-instrumental prodigy whose music often freely crosses between the genres of jazz, bossa nova, acappella, and R&B. With some noted odes to his inspirations as well as the Youtube videos that have catapulted him to fame, In My Room succeeds in pushing him upwards from quaint internet stardom to a more visible and infectious artist.
The album’s own namesake is shared with an early Beach Boys b-side that Collier covers with ease. Layering multiple vocal tracks against each other to achieve the same desired harmony as the original lends this cover a uniqueness all its own that is further strengthened by the stripped down production and minimal percussion. Yet the immediate follow-up, “Hideaway” reverses direction and snaps together various bits of melodic acoustics to achieve something both saccharine and serene. Paired with the equally joyful percussion of late album track “Hajanga,” there is a refreshing playfulness to Collier’s debut that is hard to find elsewhere.
The only thing limiting the optimistic appeal of In My Room is an occasional disunity between and within the tracks themselves. The maximalist instrumentation so becoming of Collier’s style will at times overwhelm, while tracks such as “Flintstones,” entertaining in their own right, feel misplaced next to the tender soulfulness that is on full display throughout the album. But, rarely is there an occasion where the disunity proves distracting. Instead, Collier does well in keeping in touch with his roots as a performer, giving both style and substance to the intricate textures of his music.