It Is.



by 00mee USER (21 Reviews)
June 20th, 2016 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: JMSN quickly arises as THE poster boy of DIY producer-come-everything

Let’s move past the quasi-parody, VHS 90’s throwback of The Blue Album’s whole schlock and just ask “where exactly does JMSN fit?” He doesn’t monopolize the spotlight like say an Ocean or Miguel. In a genre that isn’t exactly crowded nor wanting, JMSN doesn’t command an overly particular attention, bar some crowded chatroom in the internet’s dustiest corners. He’s been rolling along without much steam or fanfare, this now being his third record, notwithstanding the EP *Pllajë* (which, additionally, is worth a look-in in itself, considering its liberal dollop of chillstep aesthetics). It Is could be said to function as the anti opus – happy to coast along the shadows, yet not in any way determined or defined by previous records in the man’s discography. Frustratingly so, It Is doesn’t present anything more than a breezy reverbed waltz; it just doesn’t function as THE sound that JMSN’s been working towards all this time. But then again, it doesn’t even need to.

It Is appears as a vacant cradle in this way: an open invitation to carve some sense of solace into the sound (JMSN has some preachy parts here, though) without ascribing itself a value in any set of metric. Drifting along its jazzy percussion and piano barbed verses, one can find a resolution of any particular theme they see fit. JMSN’s good in that way. “Be A Man Pt.2’s” chest beating is self-affirming. "Possessed"’s pop-ballad-aspirations are indulgent. There are tonal disparities here too. “*** U”’s disguised jazz tune sounds like it was recorded on Tatooine. “Cruel Intentions”’s sprinklings of American blues has just enough peaks to hold one’s attention. And before all that, its opening track tempts with its madding cinematic seduction. But JMSN’s weakness has always been the genre’s notorious surfeit: its oft-time tedious sheen, its leniency on mechanical loops, and, to some, its borderline pretentiousness. There’s even some skits on here, for better or for worse.

Perhaps a zeitgeist of the contemporary artist, you have to wonder if it’s all tongue in cheek. Serious, and yet not? A man just playing the satire game, or one that really feels inspired by love? A song called “Funk Outta Here” with an abundant mix of wah-wah and popped bass? C’mon now. His vague online solicitation of fans’ questions offers no real answer, further propagating this lackadaisical flirtation with sarcasm. But then, to be this prolific – it’s nothing to sneeze at. And while he has started touring, you would have to wonder if this guy has a commercial ETA or whether the internet’s recluses will only provide reasonable grounds for his already very, very content fans and listeners. To skip It Is, or worse listen to it and forget it, is really only shorting yourself out of one 2016’s most peculiar and paradoxical records.

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user ratings (12)

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 27th 2016


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm digging this rn

September 27th 2016


One of my coworkers loves this guy, I've been meaning to check him out.

October 2nd 2016


Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I love this. Gonna see him live.

November 14th 2016


Album Rating: 3.5

Oh yeah, dude was amazing live. Best show I've been to in ages!

April 6th 2018


^best thing this guy has ever done and one of my fav performances in this series

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